These players have developed a penchant for being ill-tempered and have developed a unique rap sheet in their career.
Football is a sport that lures everyone into it due to its highly charged up and competitive nature of play. Both teams fight tooth-and-nail for the result to be theirs at the end of full time. However, the competitive nature is sometimes taken to a whole new level of transgression on the part of footballers who resort to rash tackles and offences that leaves the opposition and the game’s integrity in danger – resulting in a red card. Over the years, some of the players have been more active in such incidents than others and have received the most red cards in Europe in their career.
Despite the cautions, these players have been known to be reckless and let the situation get the better of them and some just seem to do it on purpose to instigate bad tempers on the pitch which leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
Let’s take a look at the five players with most red cards in European football.
5. Yannick Cahuzac
Yannick Cahuzac started off with the youth outfit of Bastia in 2005, with whom he played for 12 years featuring in 330 matches. The defensive midfielder is known to be a hot-headed individual and 17 dismissals in his career offer enough evidence to support the claim.
Cahuzac won the Ligue 2 title with Bastia in 2012 winning promotion for the club to Ligue 1 and currently plies his trade for Lens who were recently promoted to Ligue 1 for the next season owing to the shutdown of the French leagues due to the global pandemic.
4. Pablo Alfaro
Pablo Alfaro enjoyed a two-decade long career in Spain’s top-flight turning up for Barcelona, Sevilla, and hometown club Real Zaragoza. But he would rather have not enjoyed the time when he was given his marching orders. Alfaro is the player with third most red cards in La Liga’s history.
However, Alfaro tasted success as well as he won the 1992-93 La Liga title with FC Barcelona and then the UEFA Europa League with Sevilla in 2005-06. He is currently the manager of UD Ibiza who compete in the third division of Spanish football.
3. Alexis Ruano Delgado
Alexis Delgado held the infamous record of having the most red cards in Spanish football history (22) before Sergio Ramos overtook him. The centre-back has featured for teams like Valencia, Sevilla, his hometown club Malaga and Besiktas.
He won the Copa del Rey with Valencia in 2008 and the Turkish Super Lig with Besiktas in 2016. He is currently plying his services to Racing Santander in Spain’s second division, the Liga Adelante.
2. Sergio Ramos
A list of the most reckless players in football is incomplete without the mention of Sergio Ramos. The iconic and at times enigmatic skipper does leave caution to the wind frequently and it has at times cost his side as well.
In his career so far, Sergio Ramos has been shown the way to the tunnel 26 times among many other disciplinary records that he holds. He is the most carded player in European football history with 187 offensive bookings and he is also the most carded player in La Liga and Champions League history. His Champions League tally stands at 40 cards with red being flashed four times which puts him at level with Edgar Davids and current AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
But they form part of his urban legend along with his success for long term employers Real Madrid that have ensconced him among the best defenders in the game having won every trophy that is there to win in his career, both as a player and as a captain. His heart-on-his-sleeve approach indicates his confidence and they rub off on his other teammates to be tough and competitive on the pitch and standing up to the opposition.
1. Cyril Rool
Cyril Rool is one better though in the list of hot-headed individuals than Ramos with the French defender being sent off a record 27 times in his career.
He featured for clubs like Marseille, Nice and Bordeaux and hung up his boots in 2010. He hasn’t returned to the pitch yet in any capacity and only has a Coupe De La Ligue winner’s medal for all his efforts apart from his ignominious disciplinary records.