If you've ever played a football game, you know how difficult it is to go through the entire duration of a match without committing a foul. Though in these games you do not get booked for such offences. In professional football, even the slightest of touches could earn a player a place in the referee's books.
Well, committing a foul is the easiest way to earn a booking, but there are plenty of other ways a player can be shown a yellow card in the beautiful game. Not happy with the referee's decision, why don't you go argue with him? Boom! A booking. Scored a 90th-minute winner? Why don't you take off your shirt and celebrate wildly? Bam! A booking is waiting for you. Fancy earning a penalty by diving? If you get caught, a booking is on the cards.
In short, no one is safe from a booking in the modern game but there a few players who have earned a staggering number of yellow cards in their careers. Here we take a look at the top 10 players with the most bookings in the 21st century.
Stats Courtesy - Transfrmarkt.com
#10 Emre Belözoglu - 181 Bookings
We kick off our list with former Inter Milan, Newcastle United and Fenerbahce midfielder Emre Belözoğlu, who has 181 bookings to his name. The Turkish international made his professional debut in 1996 and was still active in league football with Fenerbahce until last season, making 26 appearances for the Turkish club.
Luckily, the 40-year-old, who is currently the football director at Fenerbahce, is remembered by fans for his sound technical skills rather than his propensity to indulge in controversies on the pitch. In his final season as a player, he was hilariously sent off after picking up two yellow cards without even stepping out on the pitch.
#9 Giampiero Pinzi - 182 Bookings
Giampiero Pinzi started his career at Lazio but spent most of his career with Serie A rivals Udinese. The midfielder mostly played in the top flight but also spent some time in the Serie B and Serie C in his two-year long association with Padova where he hung up his boots.
Though he did not earn a lot of trophies in his career and only had one senior appearance for the Italy national team, he got 182 bookings since the turn of the century and becomes the second-most booked player in Italy in that period.
#8 David Albelda - 183 Bookings
Former Valencia midfielder David Albelda makes it to our list, despite the fact that he played over 100 games before 2000 for Valencia and Villareal. Of the 183 bookings he received in his career, 177 came for his boyhood club, Valencia, whom he captained for more than a decade.
A defensive midfielder by trade, he was known for arguing with match officials, kicking opponents while defending, insulting opponents, being a sore loser and making dangerous tackles.
Despite that, he is a Mastella legend and was part of their highly successful squadd at the start of the 21st century and won two La Liga titles, one UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup with Los Che.