Players With The Most Red Cards In History Football


In the history of football, the highest number of red cards received is 46 red cards during the playing career of Gerardo Bedoya or Sergio Ramos red cards also received 22 during his peak battle years. Let’s take a look at the football players with the most red cards in history.


Red Card History 

Yellow and red cards in football were invented in 1966 by Ken Aston, who was responsible for overseeing referees at that year’s World Cup. In the England match against Argentina, German referee Rudolf Kreitlein wanted to disqualify Antonio Rattin on the Argentine side after many ineffective reminders.

However, this player pretended not to understand, so he lingered, and referee Kreitlein couldn’t do anything more because in his hand was just a small card to record the warnings to the players on both sides. In the end, 2 policemen had to go in and escort Rattin out.

The above inadequacies prompted the former British referee to find a solution. However, when I had not thought of anything, the idea of ​​​​the cards came about by accident. During a drive, he stopped at an intersection, waiting for a red light. “When I see the traffic light, everything appears to me. Yellow: warning and gentle, red: stop, leave the field,” Ken Aston once shared on FIFA’s homepage.

Then, after being suggested by his wife to cut 2 pieces of yellow and red paper into rectangular patterns, just enough to put in a shirt pocket, the yellow and red cards were officially born.

FIFA immediately supported Ken Aston’s invention of penalty cards. At the 1970 World Cup, yellow and red cards were first applied. The cards are like an expression of the authority of the referees, making the referee’s orders clearer and at the same time, solving the language barrier.

But surprisingly, on the first day of application for the penalty card, not a single player was given a red card. Only four years later, in 1974, at the final round of the World Cup in Germany, only five players had to leave the field because of a red card.

The first player in the world to receive a red card was Carlos Caszely of Chile, sent off in the 67th minute of the match against Germany; the referee was a Spaniard named Babacan. The earliest player to receive a red card is José Batista of Uruguay. The footballer was sent off after only 53 seconds of playing in Uruguay vs Scotland match on June 13, 1986, a decision made by French referee Joel Quiniou. This rough player only managed to touch the ball once, and at the same time, he touched the opponent’s body with both his feet from behind, and the referee forced him out of play as soon as possible!

Initially, the card was made of paper, but now, the card is made of plastic material that can be used without fear of rain and is resistant to mold when exposed to the referee’s sweat. This card is manufactured by Switzerland and is trusted by FIFA to provide international referees. This type of card also has the advantage of having pre-divided boxes with the number of players’ jerseys, and the referee only needs to simply manipulate and mark it.

Not only football, yellow cards, red cards are also used in many other sports such as athletics, volleyball, rugby, water polo…Let’s find out with Live Football Sports who has the most red cards in football history 


Red Card Penalty

In Article 12 of the laws of the game, it is also very clear how to use a red card penalising a player… Any player receiving a red card from the referee means that player will be disqualified and must leave the field immediately. The team whose player is shown a red card has absolutely no right to make a substitution from the bench, but must continue to play with a 10-man squad. And if the team has 2 people with red cards, they have to play with 9 people, …This is unfair-play and your team will be awarded a penalty kick if VAR intervention is not determined.

This type of card is applied to all players from the main player to the substitute and even the coach. If the person receiving the card is a goalkeeper, the coach can still send another player to replace and of course can also take the goalkeeper from the bench.

The following acts are subject to a red card:

  • Received 2nd yellow card in same match.
  • Serious foul: Using excessive force intentionally or attempting to hurt an opposing player.
  • Violent behavior: Unlike a serious foul, this can be committed by a player against anyone, such as a team-mate, referee or spectator, etc.
  • Spitting at any other person.
  • Preventing a goal or a clear scoring opportunity by hand-playing the ball (not applicable to goalkeepers in his team’s own penalty area). The goalkeeper may receive a red card for a reaction error, a serious foul in the penalty area or handball when standing outside the 16.50m line.
  • Intentionally fouled to prevent a clear scoring opportunity.
  • Use offensive, abusive, or insulting language or gestures.

If the goalkeeper is shown a red card, the team must still play with 10 men as usual and one of the team’s players who are on the field will have to replace the goalkeeper. If more than 4 red cards are given to a team (equivalent to more than 4 players sent off and less than 7 players left on the field), the game will be stopped and the team will be unconditionally forfeited.

Players In Soccer History With The Most Red Cards

Gerardo Bedoya (46) – Player with most red cards

First on this list is Gerardo Bedoya, who has 49 appearances for Colombia. This midfielder is famous for his hot head, thus leading to extraordinary situations. And during his career,Gerardo Bedoya red cards had to receive 46, a record that hardly anyone can break.


Sergio Ramos (27) 

First on this list is Gerardo Bedoya, who has 49 appearances for Colombia. This midfielder is famous for his hot head, thus leading to extraordinary situations. And during his career, Bedoya had to receive 46 red cards, a record that hardly anyone can break.


Cyril Rool (27)

Next on the list is Cyril Rool, a former Lens, Marseille, AS Monaco, Bordeaux, and a Nice player. Rool’s career is quite lackluster, but his record of receiving 25 red cards in his entire career helps him to always be mentioned as the worst player in football history.


Alexis Ruano Delgado (22)

He is a Spanish player, having played for many famous clubs such as Malaga, Getafe, Valencia, Sevilla, and Besiktas. Ruano’s forte is central defender, but he can take on any position in defense.

Ruano was once known as the “nail-cutting, iron-cutting” machine in La Liga. In 2014, the player caused outrage when he punched Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic, only to receive a four-match ban. Ruano has received a total of 22 red cards in his career. He is playing for Racing Santander club.


Paolo Montero (21) 

Montero started his career at the Penarol club. In the summer of 1992, he joined Atalanta, then played for Juventus for 9 seasons. Montero is a player associated with unpredictable moments. He played soberly, often with impressive handling phases. However, when falling into disputes, Montero was too aggressive.

The Uruguayan midfielder received a total of 16 red cards during his time in Serie A, a tournament record to date. Over the course of Montero’s career, he was disqualified 21 times.


Rafael Marquez (21) 

Marquez is regarded as the most excellent defender in Mexico’s history. He also won several trophies at the club level with Monaco and Barcelona. Besides his excellence on football, the great center-back received 21 red cards.


Felipe Melo (20)

Felipe Melo, a Brazilian international, joins our list with 20 red cards. The defensive midfielder was dubbed “Pitbull” because his playing style and stature resembled those of a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.


Matteo Contini (20)

Former Italian defender who played for Napoli, Parma, and Real Zaragoza of Spain. Contini was a highly regarded athlete during his day, yet he struggled to escape penalties on the field. 


Fernando Amorebieta (19) 

Fernando Amorebieta is one of the experienced soccer players who have received several red cards throughout their careers. The Venezuelan-born footballer spent the most of his career as a center defender for Athletic Bilbao and Fulham.


Gary Medel (18) 

The Chilean international has established himself as one of the most formidable defenders that few forwards choose to face. Unfortunately, his propensity to produce crucial stops and tackles has cost him 18 marching orders over his career.



Above are the top football players with the most red cards in football history. Most of them are good players, an indispensable link of big teams.

Watch more: Who Has The Most Yellow Cards In Football History? 

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