We take a look at some of the players with the ugliests tempers, the most cards and the worst attitudes, both on and off the pitch.
Sergio Ramos (Paris Saint-Germain)
From his time at Real Madrid, the 35-year-old holds the record for the most-carded player in the Spanish top tier, entering the referee’s book a staggering 191 times in total. His 171 yellow cards surpass Alberto Lopo, the former record holder for La Liga yellows. However, the remaining 20 are red cards, which also makes him the most sent-off player in La Liga history. In all competitions, Ramos has been sent off 26 times. That means he also has double the number of Real Madrid sendings off than his closest rival, Fernando Hierro, who was shown red on 12 occasions.
As Ramos signed for Paris Saint-Germain last July, it can only be a matter of time before he picks up his first Ligue 1 sending off!
Fernandinho (Manchester City)
Statistically speaking, in the season of 2020/21, the Brazillian had the worst discipline record in the English Premier League (EPL). The 36-year-old was used sparingly last term. He played just 1188 minutes, but during that time he had plenty of opportunities to get himself into trouble. In total, Fernandinho picked up six bookings throughout the course of the 2020/21 season at a rate of one every 198 minutes. It is this statistic of the average number of cards received per minute played, that makes Fernandinho the dirtiest player in the league.
The Manchester City midfielder has been involved in many on-field incidents. The most infamous of them was when he received a red card while trying to choke and push Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas off the field in 2016.
In his time at Manchester City from season 2013/14, until now, Fernandinho has racked up 52 yellow cards and 4 red cards in a total of 246 appearances.
Luis Suárez (Atlético Madrid)
The Atlético forward is known for his antics on the field. He is infamous for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in World Cup 2014 which resulted in a four-month ban. However, Suárez has made a habit of biting people during his career. While playing at Ajax in Holland in 2010, he was suspended for 7 games for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal on the shoulder, and during his time at Liverpool, the forward also got into hot water by biting Branislav Ivanović during a Premier League clash against Chelsea.
The striker has also been accused of stamping on opponents on multiple occasions. For example in 2012, the then-manager of Wigan, Roberto Martinez accused him of stamping on David Jones. More recently, whilst playing for Atlético, he appeared to stamp on Valencia’s Aymen Abdennour.
Due to his biting, stamping, and other antics, Suárez has been frequently labelled as an annoyance and a cheat. In December 2013, Spanish football website El Gol Digital ranked Suarez 5th in its list of the world’s dirtiest footballers.
Zlatan Ibrahimović (AC Milan)
Currently plying his trade with AC Milan, Ibrahimović is still one of the best strikers in the world at 39 years old. The only problem is that he knows it and he knows it more than anyone else. While not one to get violent, Ibrahimović earns his title as a hothead with his demeanor, both on and off the pitch.
He’s not afraid to speak out when affronted, nor one to shy away from a controversial statement, Ibrahimović does what he wants when he wants. Therefore, no one can stop him from saying things that might get him onto the back pages, or in trouble with officials.
After Sweden’s elimination from Euro 2012, Zlatan dismissed the rest of the tournament, “I don’t give a s*** who wins, I’m going on holiday”, he said.