Football is a wonderful game, built on skill, stamina, resistance, and sportsmanship. While there are no issues with the first three, the fourth is sometimes amiss – in such cases, the whistle blows, and the referee hands out one of the most fearsome penalties one can imagine, a red card, meaning that the player is dismissed from the field. Nobody wants to see that one coming – except maybe for some players who let themselves be carried away. Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, one of the dirtiest players in the Premier League, who was sent off and suspended nine times due to his behaviour in the field. But his nine red cards are nothing compared to the “record” of the players below.
Paolo Montero, the manager at Rosario Central in Argentina, has had a pretty impressive record as a player. Between 1990 and 2007, he played 374 games for various teams like Atlanta and Juventus, and 61 times for the Uruguay national team, scoring a total of 13 times in the process. But his “other” record is even more impressive: during his career, he accumulated 21 red cards and still holds the record for the highest number of red cards received by a player in Serie A history.
Alexis Ruano Delgado, better known simply as Alexis, currently plays at Deportivo Alavés, but he has several other Spanish teams – Málaga, Getafe, Valencia, and Sevilla – on his resume. During his senior years, he appeared in 381 games and scored 18 times. But he has a less impressive negative record, too – he was sent off 22 times during his career.
Sergio Ramos was a rising star at Sevilla in 2005 when Real Madrid spent a record amount for him – €27 million for a local teenager. Since then, he played 378 games for his team, and 149 games for his country, scoring a total of 62 goals and collecting 24 red cards in the process. Not bad for a player who captains both Real Madrid and Spain’s national team, right?
Before retiring in 2010, Cyril Rool played 366 matches for Olympique Marseille, AS Monaco, Girondins Bordeaux, and OGC Nice but he managed to score just four times throughout his career. But his name will forever be remembered for the 187 yellow cards and 25 red cards he managed to collect, a confirmed record for the French championship.
But the all-time record holder is clearly Colombian footballer Gerardo Bedoya. In the 20 years he spent on the field, he played in 552 matches, scored 52 times, and collected a world record of 46 red cards. He was considered the most aggressive player ever to set foot on a Colombian playfield, and this has earned him a fitting nickname – the Beast. His bad temper has shown even after he was appointed assistant coach at the Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe – he was sent to the stands 19 minutes into his first game.