Sometimes a red mist descends. Sometimes, even the calmest players lose their head in the cauldron of passion that is a football game and get into a diabolical challenge that leaves the referee with no option but to send the him off.
While sometimes two serious fouls lead to two consecutive yellow cards and the player is shown the dreaded red, at other times, the seriousness of the action mandates a straight red according to the laws of the game.
Some of the actions that lead to a straight red in a football game include spitting on an opponent or another person, denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity unfairly and excessive verbal abuse.
The history of football is littered with famous red cards such as David Beckham losing his head and getting sent off in the World Cup for kicking out, or Roy Keane taking out Alfe-Inge Haland as part of an ongoing feud that Keane knew would end in red but didn't care. However, in general, the showing of a red card remains a rare occurrence in football and is considered a game-changing moment.
For the ten players who follow, though, getting a red card wasn't that rare an event. For them, the mist tended to descend a little too frequently one would assume. In this article, we will take a look at the 10 footballers with the most red cards in the history of the game.
10 players with the most red cards in football history
#10 Vinnie Jones- 12 reds
Now Vinnie Jones is the most talented man on this list. Like, really. Jones had a pretty distinguished football career and represented Wimbledon, Leeds, Sheffield United, Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and also the Wales national team. His football career lasted for 15 years.
He then went on to capitalise on his hard-man image on the football field to become an actor in iconic films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
He has also worked as singer and presenter. But Jones was also good at one more thing. Getting red cards. 10th on this all-time list, Jones, the 'hard man' defensive midfielder got sent off 12 times during his career.
#9 Mauricio Pochettino- 13 reds
One of the most respected names on this list, Mauricio Pochettino won two Copa del Reys during his playing career with Espanyol. As a football player, he also played in France while representing his nation Argentina in the 2002 Fifa World Cup.
A good career on the pitch become an even more successful one off it as Pochettino rose to prominence as one of the most astute modern managers of the game. Pochettino was most recently in charge of a revitalised Tottenham Hotspur team whom he took to the 2018-19 Champions League final.
Interestingly, among many sports that he played in his childhood was judo. He possibly took that fighting instinct he acquired from learning martial arts into the game of football, becoming a tough-tackling centre-back who got 13 red cards during his career.