Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

Players with the Most Red Cards in Soccer History

Red Card

Being competitive in sports can bring out both the best and the worst in players. Some players have developed a reputation for being the bad boys of their teams, even their entire leagues. In this article, we will explore the top 15 players with the most red cards in soccer history.

Jermaine Jones – 13 Red Cards

Jermaine Jones

Jermaine Jones, a USA international, is notorious for his disciplinary issues, having been sent off 13 times in his career. Throughout his 20-year career, which included 10 different clubs, Jones accumulated an impressive 134 yellow cards along with his red cards.

Ricardo Quaresma – 14 Red Cards

Ricardo Quaresma

Ricardo Quaresma, the Portuguese winger, played most of his career as a creative winger in some of Europe’s top teams. Despite his role as an attacker, Quaresma managed to collect 14 red cards, which is quite remarkable. His occasional disciplinary issues and inconsistent performances contributed to his spot on this list.

Gary Medel – 14 Red Cards

Gary Medel

In the defensive midfield position, players tend to be more combative, resulting in a higher rate of yellow and red cards. Gary Medel, a tough Chilean international, played for renowned teams such as Boca Juniors, Sevilla, Inter Milan, and Besiktas. Unsurprisingly, Medel accumulated 126 yellow cards and 14 red cards throughout his career.

Alberto Lopo – 15 Red Cards

Alberto Lopo

As a center-back, Alberto Lopo knew how to stop attackers, often resorting to tough tackles that sometimes resulted in disciplinary action. Lopo earned 166 yellow cards and 15 red cards during his career. In the 2003 season, he received 13 cards in just 23 games, a testament to his aggressive style of play.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 15 Red Cards

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

With a black belt in taekwondo and a towering 1.95m frame, Zlatan Ibrahimovic possesses both physical dominance and a competitive streak. He has collected 15 red cards throughout his career. Ibrahimovic’s fiery temperament on the field, coupled with his exceptional skills, has made him a beloved player despite his disciplinary issues.

Deividas Semberas – 15 Red Cards

Deividas Semberas

Deividas Semberas, a Lithuanian international, is known for his defensive midfield and central defender positions. His aggressive style of play in Russia, playing for Dinamo and CSKA, contributed to his 15 red cards. Semberas was a solid and combative team player who willingly put himself in challenging situations to benefit his team’s performance.

Patrick Vieira – 15 Red Cards

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira, a French legend, possessed both mercurial elegance on the ball and a fierce competitive streak. Throughout his career, Vieira won numerous league titles and made a significant impact on the international stage. However, his aggressive style of play and combative nature resulted in 158 yellow cards and 15 red cards. Despite his disciplinary record, Vieira’s talent and controlled aggression made him one of the best players of his generation.

Philippe Mexes – 16 Red Cards

Philippe Mexes

Philippe Mexes, a French center-back, had a reputation as a cultured and intelligent defender. However, his determination and desire to win at all costs led to him receiving 16 red cards throughout his career. Mexes also showcased his goal-scoring abilities, but he will be remembered for his tough-tackling approach to the game.

Gonzalo Rodriguez – 17 Red Cards

Gonzalo Rodriguez

Gonzalo Rodriguez, a quality defender for Villareal and Fiorentina, was known for his tough and intimidating style of play. While he received fewer yellow cards compared to other players on this list, his 17 red cards demonstrate his commitment to any tackle he made. Rodriguez was an essential player in mid-table teams, known for his defensive soundness and physical edge.

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Gerardo Torrado – 17 Red Cards

Gerardo Torrado

Gerardo Torrado, a Mexican defensive midfielder, built a reputation as a no-nonsense ball-winner who thrived on the physical aspects of the game. Torrado’s ill-discipline on the field resulted in an alarming 197 yellow cards accompanying his 17 red cards. Despite his disciplinary issues, Torrado had a successful career, becoming an integral member of Cruz Azul’s squad.

Fernando Amorebieta – 17 Red Cards

Fernando Amorebieta

Fernando Amorebieta, a Venezuelan center-back, was known for his imposing physicality and his propensity for collecting bookings. Over his 392-game career, he received 140 yellow cards and a consistent 17 red cards. Amorebieta’s style of play suited the physical nature of English soccer while playing for Fulham, where he became a fan favorite.

Rafael Marquez – 18 Red Cards

Rafael Marquez

Rafael Marquez, a Mexican player with a stunning trophy record, played for prestigious clubs like Barcelona and Monaco. However, Marquez’s reckless style of play often led to his teammates facing pressure due to his suspensions. Despite this, he is still regarded as one of Mexico’s finest players of all time.

Felipe Melo – 18 Red Cards

Felipe Melo

Nicknamed “Pitbull” and “Gladiator,” Felipe Melo, a Brazilian defensive midfielder, was known for his tenacity and unwavering commitment on the field. His impressive career included stints at clubs like Juventus, Fiorentina, and Galatasaray. However, Melo’s relentless pursuit of winning resulted in a staggering 192 yellow cards and 18 red cards.

Matteo Contini – 21 Red Cards

Matteo Contini

Matteo Contini, an Italian defender, had a career characterized by moves to various clubs throughout Italy. Despite not playing for a European powerhouse, Contini left a mark with an impressive 165 yellow cards and a staggering 21 red cards. Contini’s aggressive and no-nonsense style epitomized the Italian defenders of his era.

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Sergio Ramos – 27 Red Cards

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos, the top player on our list, has comfortably accumulated the most red cards in soccer history. Ramos is renowned for his exceptional defensive skills and tactical understanding of the game. However, his aggressive playing style has resulted in numerous disciplinary issues. With 27 red cards in his career, Ramos holds the record for the most red cards in major European leagues, the Champions League, and his national team. Despite his controversial reputation, Ramos is regarded as one of the greatest defenders in the history of soccer.


Q: Who holds the record for the most red cards in soccer history?
A: Sergio Ramos holds the record for the most red cards in soccer history.

Q: Which players have the most yellow cards?
A: While this article focuses on red cards, numerous players have accumulated significant yellow card totals throughout their careers. Some notable examples include Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, and Javier Mascherano.

Q: Are red cards given for violent conduct only?
A: Red cards can be shown for various offenses, including violent conduct, serious foul play, and denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.


While red cards are a blemish on a player’s career, they often come as a result of their competitive nature and desire to win. The players mentioned in this article have left a lasting impact on the game, demonstrating their skill and aggression on the field. Movin993 celebrates the achievements of these players while acknowledging the finer aspects of their playing styles.