Clean Sheet: Football Players that were Never Sent off

Should the retiring Philipp Lahm manage to avoid a red card for the remainder of the season, the Bayern München captain will have gone through an entire career without being dismissed. 

Here, we profile a few other players who managed that feat, and a couple who have just missed out.

Raúl González (Real Madrid, Schalke, al-Sadd, New York Cosmos & Spain)
Seventeen years as a player; 388 goals in 932 club games; 44 more strikes for Spain; UEFA Champions League triumphs in 1998, 2000 and 2002 (including becoming the first player to score in two finals) and six Spanish titles among a vast trophy haul; no red cards.
Raul Gozalez Played Soccer for 17 Years

Gary Lineker was never even booked
Gary Lineker (Leicester, Everton, Barcelona, Tottenham, Nagoya Grampus Eight & England)
A career total of 281 goals in 567 matches is impressive enough, but the former England striker wasn't just never sent off – he never even picked up so much as a yellow card.

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)
Another player whose career has been garlanded with trophies at club and international levels, Iniesta has made more than 750 appearances for club and country without being dismissed.

Karim Benzema (Lyon, Real Madrid & France)
The all-time French top scorer at Real Madrid and in the Liga has 649 matches under his belt and has never been sent off. Andrés Iniesta has never been shown a red card

Michel Platini (Nancy, Saint-Étienne, Juventus & France)
The triple Ballon d'Or winner played 655 games for club and country without a disciplinary blemish. "Football was more violent than today," he said in 2014. "Nowadays referees protect players better than before with yellow and red cards, which is great for the spectacle."

Damien Duff (Blackburn, Chelsea, Newcastle, Fulham, Ireland)
A much-travelled winger, Duff made more than 700 outings for club and country in a career spanning 19 years.

Lionel Messi
No red cards for Barcelona but his Argentina career could scarcely have got off to a worse start as he was sent off for retaliation a minute after emerging against Hungary in an August 2005 friendly. Fifty-seven international goals since have made up for it. -


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