15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2024

In soccer, disciplinary actions are taken to ensure the game is conducted fairly.

One of the best ways to ensure balance and conduct during a game is by issuing red cards to players who are showing misconduct and displaying bad behavior during the game. 

When a red card is raised and displayed by a referee, it signifies that a player has been found guilty of misconduct and bad behavior.

When a player receives this card, they must be required to immediately leave the field and the game as well. Also, the player is forced to not take part in the game anymore and the team must continue to play the game with one player down, making them 10 instead of 11. 

A red card is one of the worse things to happen to a player during a game because it takes them out of the game, renders their team helpless with a player down, and it goes in the record that you received a red card during a particular game.

Most of the time, red card issuance are as a result of foul play, misconduct, offensive language, and collection of yellow cards.

A player is issued a red card after receiving two yellow cards during a game. It is interesting to know that over the history of soccer, some players have received numerous red cards during a game either due to misconduct or a collection of yellow cards.

Footballers With The Most Red Cards In Football

Gerardo Bedoya (46)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

Although retired, this Colombian soccer player sits at the top of soccer players with the most red cards.

During his playing career, he received 46 red cards making him an important name to be mentioned.

He is known for his aggressive and offensive style of play with rough tackling that always gets him this card. 

For this reason, he is regarded as “El Patrón del Mal” which translates to “The Boss of Evil” or “The Beast” a name well suited for him.

While others may crumble under the weight of scrutiny, Bedoya reveled in the chaos, striding fearlessly into battles that would make even the boldest flinch.

His imposing presence and unapologetic approach struck fear into the hearts of opponents, as referees hastily reached for their pocket-sized scarlet tickets.

Sergio Ramos (26)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

Sergio Ramos, a Spanish professional soccer player, is currently playing as a center-back for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) football club.

Ramos is widely recognized for his unique style of play, which has also led him to hold the record for the most red cards in the history of soccer.

A true warrior, he was never one to shy away from confrontations, often venturing to the very edge of the rulebook, where the line between aggression and finesse blurred into oblivion.

With each red card collected, Ramos cemented his reputation as a relentless force, a defender who refused to yield to the relentless march of time.

Cyril Rool (27)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

The French defender, Cyril Rool is another soccer player known for his aggressive and offensive nature.

While some may view his red cards as blemishes, they speak of a defender unafraid to go toe-to-toe with the best, refusing to be intimidated by the challenges that lay before him.

Rool’s tenacity and never-say-die attitude endeared him to fans and made him a formidable opponent for any striker who dared to test his mettle.

An interesting fact about this French defender is that he also holds the record of a player who has received 187 yellow cards during his playing career.

Alexis Ruano Delgado (22) 

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

Simply known as Alexis, this Spanish central defender and full-back played for clubs like Sevilla, Getafe, Valencia, Alaves, and many others.

During his career, he received a total of 22 red cards with one that includes him swiping his fist at Mario Mandzukic from Atletico.

While the red cards may serve as a reminder of his occasional tempestuous nature, they also underscore his unwavering determination to protect his team’s interests at all costs.

Ruano Delgado’s presence on the field demanded attention, as he epitomized the art of defending with both intensity and calculated risk.

Paolo Montero (21)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

Paolo Montero, a former Uruguayan defender, holds the record of receiving 21 red cards throughout his career, with 16 of them occurring during his time in Serie A.

Montero, with a resolute glare and an ironclad determination, personified the art of uncompromising defending.

He patrolled the backline with unwavering intensity, fearlessly throwing himself into challenges, often teetering on the precipice of what the referees deemed acceptable.

Rafael Marquez (21)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

Rafael Márquez Álvarez is indeed considered one of the greatest defenders in Mexico’s history.

Throughout his career, Márquez achieved considerable success and garnered recognition for his skills and accomplishments.

Like a maestro orchestrating a symphony, Márquez commanded the backline with grace and authority.

His precise reading of the game, coupled with impeccable positioning, made him a stalwart defender feared by even the most formidable of opponents.

Yet, his unwavering passion occasionally spilled over, resulting in dismissals that served as reminders of his intense dedication to the sport.

Felipe Melo (20) 

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

Probably one of the roughest players to have graced the game of soccer.

Roughness and physical tackling are used to describe his style of play during games. For this, he even earned the nicknames “Pitbull” and ‘Gladiator”. 

Melo’s style of play can be likened to a raging tempest, unleashing his thunderous presence with each step. His commitment to the game is unparalleled, as he fearlessly throws himself into challenges.

There is more to Melo’s game than the disciplinary records suggest. His ferociousness is matched by an undeniable talent and versatility.

Matteo Contini (20)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

Most Italian defenders are known for their discipline, but Matteo Contini was an exception.

He used to play as a center-back and represented various clubs in Italy, including AC Milan, Napoli, Parma, and even Real Zaragoza in Spain.

Contini, a warrior in his own right, possesses a fearlessness that knows no bounds. Like a sentinel guarding his territory, he embraces the physicality of the game with a resolute spirit, leaving no room for hesitation.

While the red cards may signify moments of indiscretion, they also reflect his unyielding desire to protect his team’s interests at all costs.

Fernando Amorebieta (19)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

A Venezuelan footballer, was well-known for his straightforward and aggressive style of play.

As a center-back, he gained a reputation for being no-nonsense on the field. Unfortunately, his disciplinary record was quite poor, as he received 19 red cards during his playing career.

Amorebieta played for Athletic Bilbao, Fulham, and Middlesbrough, among others.

These clubs provided him with opportunities to showcase his defensive skills, but his disciplinary issues often overshadowed his abilities.

Pablo Alfaro (18) , Gary Medel (18), Gerardo Torrado (18)

Pablo Alfaro is another retired player that is among the list of 10 soccer players with the most red cards.

He is a Spanish player who played the position of a center-back during his playing career. He is known for his physicality during a game and his rough tackling as well.

For this, he has received a total of 18 red cards which sent him off the games he was in. 

Gary Medel is another one of the most intense and aggressive players on the soccer field.

As a defender, he embodies the spirit of a warrior and fearlessly engages in tackles and duels with opponents.

However, this fearless approach often leads to trouble for Medel.

Throughout his career, the Chilean international has accumulated a significant number of red cards, totaling 18 so far.

It is expected that he may continue to add to this tally in the future, as his playing style leaves him vulnerable to disciplinary actions.

Yannick Cahuzac (17) Deividas Semberas (17) Gonzalo Rodriguez (17)

Yannick Cahuzac is another tough and rough player who played as a defensive midfielder during his playing career at Bastia, Toulouse, and Lens.

He was an incredible player but his aggressive nature always comes out during games.

This style of play has fetched him a total of 17 red cards during his playing career. He is remembered by numerous forwards for his style of play on the pitch. 

Deividas Semberas is also a retired professional footballer from Lithuania who primarily played as a defender.

He started his career with FC Vilnius before venturing to Italy, where he represented clubs such as AS Roma, Udinese, and Chievo Verona, among others.

Gonzalo Rodriguez is a retired professional footballer from Argentina who had a successful career as a center-back.

He was a member of the Argentina Olympic team that competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, showcasing his talents on the international stage.

Philippe Mexes (16)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

A retired French center-back, was widely regarded as one of the toughest defenders of his generation.

He kick-started his career at Auxerre, where he made more than 120 appearances and played a crucial role in their Ligue 1 title victory in the 2001-2002 season.

After his successful stint at Auxerre, Mexes transferred to AS Roma, where he spent seven seasons.

During his time at Roma, he contributed to the club’s success and was a member of the team that won the Supercoppa Italiana in 2007.

His performances earned him recognition and established him as a formidable presence in the Italian football scene.

Alberto Lopo (15)

15 Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards In History | 2023

As a defender, Lopo gained a reputation for his tough tackling style, often resulting in disciplinary actions.

His physical and aggressive approach to defending made him a challenging opponent for attackers and garnered attention for his no-nonsense playing style.

While Lopo’s playing style occasionally led to disciplinary issues, his defensive contributions and dedication to the game cannot be overlooked.

His presence on the field provided a sense of stability and toughness to the teams he represented.

Roy Keane (13)

This retired Irish soccer player made a big impact during his playing career, playing for clubs such as Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, and Celtic.

He is widely remembered for his combative and aggressive style of play, which he displayed on the field during games.

During his career, this player received 13 red cards, reflecting the confrontational nature that sometimes got the better of him.

However, despite these disciplinary issues, he remains highly respected and fondly remembered, especially among Manchester United fans.

Mauricio Pochettino (13) 

Mauricio is indeed regarded as one of the finest soccer players, showing exceptional skills on the field. However, his playing career was marred by a tendency towards ferociousness and violence during matches.

Unfortunately, this aggressive style of play resulted in Mauricio accumulating a significant number of red cards.

Over the course of his career, he received 13 red cards, highlighting the disciplinary challenges he faced.

Other Soccer Players With The Most Red Cards

  • Giampiero Pinzi (14)
  • Ricardo Quaresma (14)
  • Jermaine Jones (14)


Who are the most red-carded players in the Premier League?

  • Duncan Ferguson – 8
  • Patrick Vieira – 8
  • Richard Dunne – 8 
  • Vinnie Jones – 7
  • Lee Cattermole – 7 
  • Roy Keane –  7 

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