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Football Players with Most Red Cards

By on January 11, 2024 0 107Views

We have seen who are some of the most inspiring players we look up to, but this time, we turn towards a more negative side of football. In our review of football players with most red cards, we take a closer look at the most (un)lucky players who are not the inspiration we want. So, let’s get started with our list and find out who has the most red cards in football.

#10 Gary Medel, Pablo Alfaro, Gerardo Torrado

With 18 red cards each, Gary Medel, Pablo Alfaro, and Gerardo Torrado share 10th place on our list of football players with most red cards. However, we will award this spot to Gary Medel primarily, because he has the fewest appearances for this negative record.

Pablo Alfaro would take the 12th place on this list, as he has 18 red cards in 593 appearances. At the same time, he is the second-most red-carded player in La Liga history. In his history, he played for Barcelona, Real Zaragoza, Atletico Madrid, and Sevilla.

The 11th place on this list would go to Gerardo Torrado, who also has 18 red cards, but in 536 appearances. The Mexican defensive midfielder also captained his national team.

Lastly and officially, the 10th place on our top 10 players with most red cards in football history spot goes to Gary Medel. Compared to the two aforementioned, Medel got his record 18 red cards in just 499. While we can commend him for his 23 goals, he almost equalised the balance between the two.

Football Players With Most Red Cards

#9 Fernando Amorebieta

The Venezuela-born footballer, Fernando Gabriel Amorebieta Mardaras took things a bit further, as he earned 19 cards in his career. To achieve this record, and put himself at number nine on our footballer with most red cards list, he needed 453 appearances. 

In his long career, Fernando played for Athletic Bilbao and Fulham as a central defender. Now retired, he can’t extend his record, but still easily ranks. Of his 19 red cards, 12 were after earning a second yellow, while seven were direct. Furthermore, he also earned over 150 yellow cards.

#8 Matteo Contini

Moving up the list, Matteo Contini’s 20 red cards rank him as 8th on our list. As expected, Matteo played as a defender. Born in Italy, he spent most of his career playing for Italian clubs. His career has seen him play for Napoli, Parma, and the Spanish Real Zaragoza.

Out of his 20 red cards, a total of seven were direct, while the rest were after a second yellow. While he had a somewhat promising career as a defender, he simply couldn’t avoid getting the ultimate punishment on the pitch.

#7 Rafael Marquez

As one of the best defenders in the history of Mexican football, Rafael Marquez was not scared to do what he must to stop a dangerous attack. By seeing the inside of a locker room early 21 times, Marquez ranks as 7th on our list.

Having spent most of his time in Barcelona and Monaco before, he made 628 appearances in total. Along with his red cards, you will find around 150 yellow cards as well. Nonetheless, despite his bad record, there are also numerous positive aspects of his game.

There is no doubt that Rafael Marquez was a legend in Mexico. Even today, many consider Marques to be one of the best players to play for the national team. Next to his name, there are two Champions League titles, as well as four La Liga titles with Barcelona. Extending his great record is the Ligue 1 title, which he won with Monaco.

Footballer With Most Red Cards

#6 Paolo Montero

Paolo Montero not only stands in 6th place on our list of football players with most red cards, he also has another bad record. With 21 red cards, we place him in 6th place because he holds the record for the most red cards in Serie A. The Uruguayan earned himself 16 red cards in Italy, finding his spot on this list easily.

Another reason Montero takes the 6th place ahead of Marquez is that he earned his record-breaking number of red cards in just 406 appearances. In his career, Montero played for Juventus and Atalanta.

#5 Felipe Melo

Yet another defender, Felipe Melo, ranks just above the formerly mentioned Paolo Montero on our list of footballer with most red cards. With Felipo Melo counting a total of 22 red cards, he earned the 6th place on our list.

Simply put, Melo was infamous for his antics and tough playstyle, earning him the nickname Pitbull. Many consider Felipe would be better off in the MMA instead of football, but that didn’t stop him from making a total of 632 appearances.

In his incredibly long career, which is still ongoing, in addition to 22 red cards, Melo also earned over 200 yellow cards. Out of 22 red, 11 were direct, while the rest were after a second yellow. No doubt, in this age, being 40 years old, if his career continues, we can expect to see a few more added to the tally.

#4 Alexis Ruano Delgado

Alexis Ruano Delgado, many would say, is a household name, despite not having some notable clubs in his career. The Spanish centre-back, of course, earned his record number of 22 red cards playing at Getafe, Valencia, Sevilla, etc.

However, today, many might remember him for his attack on Mario Mandzukic. After losing the ball in the game, Alexis showed us why he is on this list. No doubt, the punch was unsportsmanlike, but it goes so well to show his overall feelings for the game.

Alexis is famous for his physicality, tenacity, and no-nonsense approach on the field. His playing style has often been characterised by a strong commitment to defensive duties. However, many others were questioning his approach. No doubt, Delgado’s contribution was vast, and not only in his card count.

#3 Cyril Rool

As of recently, Cyril Rool was in second place on the list of football players with most red cards. However, as we will soon find out, he was dropped to third by another very famous footballer.

Nonetheless, Rool deserves the credit, as his 27 red cards are an impressive record. You might remember him for his ruthless playstyle and blind tackles. Furthermore, you might have seen him in the middle of a brawl more than once in his career.

Rool’s approach to the game was marked by physicality, tireless work rate, and an unwavering commitment to disrupting the opponent. With that, despite his number of red cards, he was definitely a genius at work when defending.

Rool occasionally found himself on the wrong side of the referee’s decisions. The accumulation of red cards highlighted the intensity with which he approached his defensive duties. However, he often lost sight of the fine line between being an effective enforcer and crossing into disciplinary issues.

#2 Sergio Ramos

If you were wondering who has the most red cards in football history, and you thought Sergio Ramos, you would be partially correct. While he tops the list in modern football, overall, he loses this battle by a mile.

Nonetheless, let’s first talk about Sergio Ramos, standing at number two on our list of players with most red cards. In his still-ongoing career, Ramos got booked with a red card 28 times.

Moreover, along with his incredible, but, some would say, bad record, he also has over 230 yellow cards. No doubt, his contribution is significant, not only defensively, but also offensively. Despite being the second dirtiest player in football, or because he is the second dirtiest, he scored over 100 goals.

With no intentions of giving up on football just yet, he may extend his negative record. However, at the same time, it has been some time since we last saw red for Ramos. His last red card was in 2022 in PSG, when he earned a yellow, and a straight red moments after.

#1 Gerardo Bedoya

Finally, we come to the number one player who has the most red cards in football history. Gerardo Bedoya stands at the top of our list with an incredible record of 46 red cards. A player so tough and not scared even the commentators needed shin pads, Bedoya blasts all competition to stand as the king of red cards.

In his 20-year-long career, which ended in 2015, the most notable red card was his 41st. While some of his tackles were mainly defensive, some were simply ill-intended, such as this. For his 41st red card, Bedoya elbowed an opponent but also kicked the floored player’s head. For this, Gerardo Bedoya got a 15-game ban.

Bedoya is a primer example of how bad habits die hard, and how the wolf changes his coat but not his nature. After retiring in 2015, Bedoya took on the role of an assistant coach in 2016. Just 21 minutes into his new position, you guessed it, Bedoya earned a red card. Those who really want something, always find a way.

Fastest Red Card in Football History

Speaking of red cards in football history, we feel like this is time to surprise you with another interesting fact. We have seen who has the most red cards in football history. This time we turn to the fastest red card.

At the moment, the record belongs to Sheffield United’s Keith Gillespie. This bizarre game against Reading left an unpleasant mark in football history. Keith earned a red card the moment he came on in the second half.

However, our personal favourite is Lee Todd. In 2000, Todd earned a red card after apparently swearing. The swear words weren’t even directed at the judge, but rather at the loud whistle. In just 2 seconds of game time, Todd left the pitch for an early shower.