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Top 10 players with most red cards in world football

Published at :August 4, 2022 at 10:00 PM
Modified at :October 12, 2022 at 5:55 PM
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Discipline is not one of the areas the following footballers excel at.

Football is a physical sport and some players excel at the dirty arts of the game. Sometimes, when football players lose discipline and cause a lot of fouls, they are handed a yellow card or worse a red. While getting a yellow is not out of the ordinary, receiving a red card takes one out of the game and leads to a subsequent suspension from future matches too. Furthermore, some football players have earned a reputation for getting a lot of red cards over the course of their careers.

Usually, defenders or defensive midfielders are more at risk of receiving red cards due to the nature of their roles. Having said that, some players develop a tendency to receive red cards due to their notorious behaviour on the pitch. More often than not, this becomes a headache for the club and manager on a few occasions.

Some individuals, despite their poor disciplinary record, manage to cover up the risk with their exceptional football ability. However, some players struggle to become reliable figures. On that note, here is a look at the top 10 players with the most red cards in football:

10. Gary Medel - 18

Gary Medel is one of the most fierce characters on a football pitch. The defender is a warrior who does not shy away from getting into tackles and duels.

Expectedly, this also invites a lot of trouble his way. The Chilean international has racked up 18 red cards in his career and will probably add more to this tally. 

9. Fernando Amorebieta - 19

Fernando Amorebieta
Amorebieta played for Athletic Bilbao, Fulham and Middlesbrough (Courtesy –  Transfermarkt)

Fernando Amorebieta of Venezuela was popular for his no-nonsense approach to football. The centre-back received 19 red cards in his playing days and had one of the worst disciplinary records.

He played for teams like Athletic Bilbao, Fulham, and Middlesbrough among others. Currently, he is working as a Sporting Director at Portugalete.

8. Matteo Contini - 20

Defenders from Italy are usually very disciplined unless their name is Matteo Contini. The former centre-back played for several clubs across the country such as AC Milan. Napoli, Parma and Real Zaragoza in Spain among many others. While he kept changing teams frequently, there was one common aspect to his performances, red cards. He collected 20 across his career. 

7. Felipe Melo - 20

Felipe Melo was infamous for his antics on the pitch. Aptly nicknamed Pitbull’ the Brazilian international racked up 20 red cards in his career. The 39-year-old currently plays for Fluminense in Brazil. Despite his disciplinary record, Melo has played for teams like Juventus, Inter Milan and Galatasaray in the past. 

6. Rafael Marquez - 21

Rafael Marquez is considered a legend in Mexico’s football history. Many regard him as the best player ever from the country despite his disciplinary record. The defender was shown the red card 21 times in his career.

Having said that, Marquez had a very successful club football career, winning two UEFA Champions League trophies and four La Liga titles with FC Barcelona. He also won the French Ligue 1 with AS Monaco and multiple other titles across a long career.

5. Paolo Montero - 21

Paolo Montero of Uruguay is popular for his time with Juventus in Serie A. The 50-year-old is currently the manager of the club’s U-19 team. He was ferocious as a player and received 21 red cards in his playing days. While the youngsters are in great hands, hopefully, he does not coach them on how to win red cards on the pitch.

4. Alexis Ruano Delgado - 22

most red cards
Delgado made a total of 321 La Liga appearances (Courtesy –  Transfermarkt)

Alexis Delgado has 321 La Liga appearances across many clubs such as Valencia, Getafe and more. He also played for Besiktas in Turkey and Al Ahli in Saudi Arabia later in his career. The 36-year-old has hung his boots now but collected 22 red cards across his career, making him have one of the worst disciplinary records. 

3. Cyril Rool - 27

Cyril Rool was one of those types of players who loved to get in the face of the referee and argue on every second call. He was ruthless in his tackling and sometimes let the emotions get the better of him.

It is no surprise that the French defender received 27 red cards in his playing days. The 47-year-old has retired now and the referees are thankful for it.

2. Sergio Ramos - 28

Sergio Ramos is popular for many things, his leadership on the pitch, sticking up for his players, exceptional skills on the ball and more. He is also popular for having a short temper and not being afraid to show his emotions.

More often than not, it gets him in trouble with the referees. The former Real Madrid skipper and current Paris Saint-Germain player has over 28 red cards in his career and he might rack up more before his retirement. The Spaniard picked up the 28th red card of his career in a Ligue 1 match against Remis for arguing with the referee.

1. Gerardo Bedoya - 46 

Gerardo Bedoya holds the record for receiving the most number of red cards in the history of the game. The 46-year-old Colombian defender has retired as a professional.

However, back in his playing days, he would often get in trouble wherever he went. He played for the likes of Racing Club, Boca Juniors in Argentina and many other Colombian clubs. As a coach, he was sent off 21 minutes into his debut.

*Last updated on October 12, 2022.


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