Top 10 red cards

Top 10 red cards

Today marks 15 years since Zizou saw red and delivered his infamous headbutt straight at the chest of Marco Materazzi. It would be his last action in competitive football. 

It’s an iconic moment and arguably the best known red card in football history, or at the very least of the 21st century. 

But what it is not, categorically, is the funniest. From flatulence to headbutting inanimate objects, there’s apparently a million ways to get sent off in football. 

So today we’re bringing you ten of our picks for the most amusing dismissals. 

 

Neymar red carded for wearing a mask of his own face

 

 

Following a genuinely fantastic goal, Neymar ran over to the Santos fans to celebrate, picking up and wearing a mask of his own face. The ref saw the act worthy of a second yellow leading a frantic Neymar desperately waving the mask in the ref's face.

 

Italian player headbutts the dugout

 

 

We don’t know who this man is. What we do know that he plays for Italian amateur side Ponticelli, that he scored a very scrappy goal back in 2014 and that he has some deep seated issues with dugouts. 

 

Adam Lindin Ljungkvist sent off for farting 

 

 

In June 2016, while playing for Pershagen SK in the lowest tier of Swedish football, Adam Lindin Ljungkvist got sent off for excessive and allegedly aggressive flatulence. 

He later told the BBC, "Every time I pushed my body I had to fart a little bit. It was one of those days.”

 

Dzeko pulls down Sokratis’s shorts

 

 

After being unceremoniously bundled over Greek defender Sokratis, Edin Dzeko elected to get revenge by pulling the defender's shorts down and dumping him on his back. It was frankly all very weird. 

 

Mascherano kicks a medical car driver

 

 

It was during a 2013 World Cup qualifier against Ecuador that Javier Mascherano, while lying on the back of a medical vehicle, elected to get the attention of the man driving by thrusting six studs into the poor guy's back. It got his attention and earned a red card for an irate Mascherano. 

 

Lee Todd gets the quickest red card in English history

 

 

Back in 2000, Lee Todd gained infamy for receiving the quickest red card in English football history - just two seconds into a game. 

In a later interview with Sport Bible, he gave his version of events. 

"We were about to kick-off and the referee reminded us about swearing, like he normally did. As he walked past me, he blew the whistle for kick-off but blew it right in my ear. I bent down, muttered fuck me ref, that was loud!" and the next thing I knew, I had a red card in my face."

 

Fabregas technically superb red against West Brom

 

 

One of the more technically impressive and nonchalant red cards of all time. Cesc Fabregas calmly stroking the ball 20 yards directly into the head of Chris Brunt will never not be funny.

 

Mario Gjurovski takes his shorts off 

 

 

After scoring a genuinely pretty good goal against TOT Sport Club, Muangthong United midfielder Mario Gjurovski elected to drop his shorts, put them on his head and pretend to shoot his own fans. For some reason, he looked shocked when the ref brandished a second yellow while his shorts were still round his ankles.

 

Allan McGregor’s karate kick

 

 

Can probably file this one in the pathetic column. Despite being a goal up and having had a pretty good game, veteran Rangers keeper Allan McGregor elected to make a feeble attempt at karate kicking Hibs striker Marc McNulty. He then proceeded to collapse to floor while holding his ankle. It’s just not a good look. 

 

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer “I had to do it”

 

 

Undoubtably in a different class of red to the other entrants on this list. Solskjaer’s red card against Newcastle during the '97/98 season is the benchmark for red cards.

With the score level and Newcastle’s Rob Lee bearing down on Schmeichel’s goal without a defender in sight, Solskjaer made up all of 20 yards before scything his man down and stopping a definite goal. He then added the cherry on top by turning to Beckham and simply stating, “I had to do it.” Glorious. 

 

Words by Andy Gallagher

 

 

 

 

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