givemesport: On Tuesday night, Gerard Pique earned himself a little bit of Barcelona history.
As he took to the field against Slavia Prague, the centre-back moved to fifth in the club’s all-time Champions League appearance list.
However, he was also bequeathed a more dubious honour by picking up a yellow card – and in the process, ruling himself out of the Borussia Dortmund game.
Since his Champions League debut 11 years ago, only Sergio Ramos has been booked more times in the competition than Pique.
Now, make no mistake. That is an honour.
To get yourself booked anywhere near as often as Ramos takes some serious determination, effort, and consistency.
Both men feature in Statbunker’s top 10 of players with the most yellow cards in Champions League history.
The full list looks like this:
1. Sergio Ramos (38)
2. Paul Scholes (32)
3. Xabi Alonso (31)
4. Gennaro Gattuso (28)
5. Dani Alves (27)
6. Gerard Pique (26)
7. Walter Samuel (25)
8. Carles Puyol (25)
9. Pepe (24)
10. Mark van Bommel (23)
Some of those you may not think of as particularly ‘dirty’ players. Scholes, for example, had a knack for mistiming his tackles, but he was rarely malicious.
Others were downright filthy. We’re looking at you, Pepe.
The most red cards in CL history
Yet for some of these hard-men, a yellow card was rarely enough. They went the whole hog.
These are the 10 players with the most red cards in Champions League history. Where players are tied, the worst offenders are ranked by their red-card-per-minute ratio.
10. Cristian Chivu (3)
Jose Mourinho arguably encouraged the dark arts at Inter and Chivu was more than happy to oblige.
9. Didier Drogba (3)
Getting sent off is never ideal, but especially not in the Champions League final. Drogba’s biggest moment of notoriety came when he slapped Nemanja Vidic with four minutes left of extra time in the 2008 showpiece against Manchester United. The Ivorian then couldn’t take a spot-kick and Chelsea lost on penalties.
8. Patrick Vieira (3)
This will surprise no-one. The Arsenal midfielder also received eight in the Premier League. Only Richard Dunne and Duncan Ferguson earned more in the English top flight and he wasn’t much more placid on the continent.
7. Philippe Mexes (3)
Few centre-backs make nearly 300 appearances in Serie A without having a little steel about them. Mexes also received a ban in 2005, but for moving to Roma without Auxerre’s consent – not for a sending off.
6. Joel Veltman (3)
Veltman is a new entry courtesy of his sending off in Ajax’s dramatic 4-4 draw with Chelsea. He’s only 27, so he’s got plenty of time to make things even worse for himself.
5. Marco Verratti (3)
Among the more stylish entries on the list, Verratti is more widely known for his passing ability and the way he makes PSG’s midfield tick.
4. Vedat Inceefe (3)
Inceefe’s most notable years came with the infamously intimidating Galatasaray. He averaged a red card every six European games.
3. Sergio Ramos (3)
To be fair, in 121 Champions League games, you’d expect Ramos to have been sent off more than three times. And only one was a straight red.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (4)
The striker’s fiery temper was on display once for Juventus against Real Madrid, once for Inter Milan against Bayern Munich, and twice for PSG versus Chelsea and Valencia.
1. Edgar Davids (4)
Davids earned himself the nickname ‘Pitbull’ for his ability to terrorise midfields, quite literally. He averaged a red card every 550 minutes in the Champions League, officially making him the worst culprit in the competition’s history.
Of the top 10, Davids, Ramos, Drogba, and Chivu have all won the Champions League. The rest will all have to settle for being in the record books for the wrong reasons.
Source: Published by givemesport