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Players Most Likely To Cause Controversy in World Cup



The World Cup is fast approaching and while every writer and analyst is breaking down matchups and offering predictions as to which squad will be the last team standing when it is all said and done, we are going a different route.

These are the players that are most likely to cause a stir, wreak havoc, or cause controversy on the pitch, via

Nicolas Otemendi, Argentina

Otemendio earned 11 yellow cards this season, including the controversial challenge on Harry Kane back in December that angered fans.

Granit Xhaka, Switzerland

Xhaka is no stranger to getting a red card, as he has racked up 8 since the last World Cup, averaging 2 a year. With those kind of numbers, it’s hard keeping Xhaka off of this list.

Fyodor Kudryashov, Russia

Russia, the host country for the World Cup, the first time it will be doing so, is very passionate about their futbol and Kudryashov has the same passion, although it can cost him at times. Kudryashov has racked up 8 career red cards that easily places him on this list of players to watch.

Wilfred Ndidi, Nigeria

Ndidi knows when its’ a good time to get a red card, as he received his first red card on his birthday. So, it’s easy to predict that the Nigerian will pick a big event such as the World Cup to collect another.

Fernandinho, Brazil

Fernando Luiz Roza, otherwise known as Fernandinho makes this list because of his 48 yellow cards and 4 red cards over only 8 years of play. With that kind of volume, it’s a safe bet that Fernandinho makes some noise during World Cup play.

Dele Alli, England

Although Alli has never received a red card, he is very familiar with the yellow card, notching 44 since 2012.

Marouane Fellaini, Belgium

Fellaini has only 1 yellow card this past season but that is more due to his ability to avoid the referee than good behavior. Fallani has collected 56 yellows and 3 reds in domestic football, making him an easy entry on this list.

Giancarlo Gonzalez, Costa Rica

With 12 career red cards, including 2 on the national state, lands Gonzales on this list, easily.

Diego Costa, Spain

Costa is no stranger to controversy, from spats on the field to his choice to play for Spain over his native country Brazil, Costa is a magnet for headlines. Expect him to grab a few more during this World Cup.

Hirving Lozano, Mexico

Lozana, nicknamed Chucky, has 8 career red cards at just 22 years old. Safe to say that Lozano will be causing some trouble during play this World Cup.

Fallou Diagne, Senegal

Diagne has the designation of being the worst-disciplined player in Ligue 1 this year, with 2 red cards and 8 yellow cards to his name. That’s enough to easily make this list.

Michal Pazdan, Poland

Last, but certainly not least, is Pazdan, whose 6 career red cards makes the Poland player a player to watch as Poland makes their first World Cup appearance since 2006.


Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.