Who was (is) most fouled player ever at his peak?

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Gregoire, Apr 20, 2024.

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Who was most fouled player ever at his peak?

  1. Messi

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  2. Pele

    3 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Maradona

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  4. Cruyff

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  5. Neymar

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  6. Hazard

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. R9

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. other (who?)

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  1. Gregoire

    Gregoire Member

    Mar 22, 2011
    Who was (is) most fouled player ever at his peak? Who draw most fouls from opposing team?

    Candidates: Messi, Hazard, Maradona, Pele, Neymar, R9, maybe some others...

    Discuss.
     
  2. Letmepost

    Letmepost Member

    Arsenal
    South Korea
    Apr 11, 2023
    [​IMG]

    Surely Neymar must rank high. The statistics are somewhat dated, but it was the largest sample size I could find for the modern era (fouls drawn in the top five European domestic leagues from 2016 to 2022).

    Diego Maradona | Most-fouled player | FIFA World Cup records

    I cannot speak for older players, but it would be interesting to track the fouls-drawn record for Diego Maradona during his time in Europe.

    Serie A Guerin Sportivo 1980-1991 every game with player ratings | Page 44 | BigSoccer Forum

    [​IMG]

    There seems to be at least one season where Diego Maradona ranked first in the league in terms of fouls-drawn (1986/1987), but I do not know if he had any other such seasons of this nature.
     
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  3. Buyo

    Buyo Member

    Real Madrid
    Spain
    Dec 20, 2020
    #3 Buyo, Apr 20, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2024
    FIFA data on World Cups from 1962-2024:

    https://www.fifa.com/fifaplus/es/to...ugador-que-mas-infracciones-recibio-mundiales

    The records with the most fouls against Maradona

    - Gentile fouled Maradona 23 times in Spain 82. No other player has received more than seven fouls from the same opponent in the same match. If those 23 fouls are true, what madness.

    - Maradona is first, second and third on the list of players with the most fouls received in a tournament: 53 in 1986, 50 in 1990 and 36 in 1982. Ariel Ortega follows him with 33 in France 1998.

    - Pelusa won more than 10 free throws in a game four times. No other player did the same thing more than once.

    - Maradona received a record 152 fouls in the World Cup. He is followed by Messi (75), Jairzinho (64), Neymar (60), Cristiano Ronaldo (58), Ariel Ortega (57) and Gheorghe Hagi (56).

    # JUGADOR PAÍS PARTIDOS FALTAS RECIBIDAS POR PARTIDO
    1 Diego Armando Maradona Argentina 20 152 7,60
    2 Lionel Messi Argentina 26 75 2,88
    3 Jairzinho Brazil 16 64 4,00
    4 Neymar Brazil 13 60 4,62
    5 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 22 58 2,64
    6 Ariel Ortega Argentina 11 57 5,18
    7 Gheorghe Hagi Romania 12 56 4,67
    8 Roberto Baggio Italy 16 51 3,19
    9 Lothar Matthäus Germany 25 50 2,00
    10 Arjen Robben Netherlands 15 47 3,13
    11 Miroslav Klose Germany 24 46 1,92
    12 Roberto Rivelino Brazil 15 45 3,00
    13 Osvaldo Ardiles Argentina 11 45 4,09
    14 Mario Alberto Kempes Argentina 18 44 2,44
    15 Daniel Bertoni Argentina 11 44 4,00

    Maradona, more than double the number of fouls received than the second and having played fewer games. Many of the fouls seen in the FIFA video today would be a yellow or red card, but in the 80s many of those fouls did not receive any card.
     
  4. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    This tweet refers to info about Pele receiving 16 fouls per game in Copa America 1959 apparently:
    Whimsy on X: "Didi potentially had 13 (pre) assists in the 1959 Copa América. That’s 2.17 per match! “Of the 17 goals that Brazil scored, 13 came out of Didi’s feet.” https://t.co/BcvM9gED5m" / X (twitter.com)

    Figo had about that in one game (Spanish Cup Final 1997), though by the looks of some other highlights he might've been receiving quite a few in some other games around that time I think....
    https://www.bigsoccer.com/threads/l...s-league-career.2085719/page-12#post-37698812
     
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  5. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid

    Marco pacione
    Serie A 1986/87

    125 fouls won
    1991 minutes played


    5.65 fouls won per 90



    https://www.transfermarkt.com/marco...86&verein=&liga=&wettbewerb=&pos=&trainer_id=



    Diego maradona
    Serie A 1986/87


    139 fouls won
    2568 minutes

    4.87 fouls won per 90



    https://www.transfermarkt.com/diego-maradona/leistungsdaten/spieler/8024/saison/1986/wettbewerb/IT1
     
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  6. Letmepost

    Letmepost Member

    Arsenal
    South Korea
    Apr 11, 2023
    OptaJose on X: "79 - Vinícius Júnior has been fouled 79 times in LaLiga 2022/23, the most by a player in Europe's big five leagues and a the most by a Real Madrid player after the first 20 games of the league season since Luís Figo in 2003/04 (96). Danger. https://t.co/2bNXX025Je" / X (twitter.com)

    I think you might have singled out what could be a major omission. Do you have any personal insight as to which season might best showcase Luis Figo's ability to draw fouls? I personally think he was not at his physical peak during 2003/2004, so may have drawn more fouls in seasons prior.
     
  7. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I think in terms of 'ability to draw fouls' and also probably 'consequences of committing fouls' that the mid to late 90s is more likely probably to have seen more fouls on Figo (being faster/more agile, and with less use of red/yellow cards in La Liga then compared to a bit later I'm thinking). Of course his intention, the majority of the time, was probably to evade tackles rather than draw fouls, but yeah I'd say 96/97, possibly 97/98, maybe even 98/99 would be feasible ideas for where the highest foul tallies on him might have been (could be 95/96 was already a candidate in theory).

    I don't have data available about it, in terms of overall stats though, and several videos which were on Youtube are not there anymore (once vs Atletico Madrid in the 1996/97 Copa Del Rey would have been another good example IIRC, for instance). This one is still up, vs Fiorentina in 1996/97 too, and maybe gives an idea about the capabilities that would draw fouls (I don't recall it being one he was actually fouled in a big amount of times though necessarily, and it's not in La Liga or a Spanish competition of course):
     
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  8. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    I checked Cruyff via Sofascore (just one World Cup of course), and he had 4.3 fouls against per game (and perhaps might suggest a few extra in the final that weren't called?). 10 vs Sweden. 5 vs Uruguay, Bulgaria, Brazil.

    Another Dutch player Marco van Basten, is one that comes to mind as a contender in this topic I guess. Not to say this game was typical on average but it's an example:
     
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  9. Buyo

    Buyo Member

    Real Madrid
    Spain
    Dec 20, 2020
    I found this searching on the net: 1959 Copa América: Pele received 98 fouls in 6 games: 16.33 fouls received per game!!!!!!!!

    https://www.facebook.com/KodroMagaz...3753994/1448086712316713/?type=3&locale=es_ES

     
  10. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    That is insane
     
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  11. PDG1978

    PDG1978 Member+

    Mar 8, 2009
    Club:
    Nottingham Forest FC
    Yeah, that was the info I had intended to show before (I think the tweet is unavailable now though), but I didn't realise it was on that tweet as well - kudos to @anamnesis del fútbol and also to you for posting it.

    Looking at Sofascore Pele had 5 fouls on him per game in the 1966 World Cup, but 7 vs Bulgaria and only 3 vs Portugal I guess because after the 3rd he was hobbling and they didn't commit more fouls on him after that (so it was shaping up early in the game to be many more than 3 potentially). Funnily in 1970 he committed more fouls than the amount he received I see, but he was fouled 7 times in the final vs Italy (next up it's 4 times vs Romania and Uruguay, but it was only 2 vs Czechoslovakia when he played very well but I suppose taking players on less than in his younger days, and vs England where he had a couple of quality key moments but didn't do a lot else in the game; the Peruvians only fouled him once).
     
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  12. Gregoire

    Gregoire Member

    Mar 22, 2011
    Pele seems to be clear leader...

    Ronaldinho, Figo, Garrincha also are good mentions...
     
  13. Al Gabiru

    Al Gabiru Member

    Jan 28, 2020
    #13 Al Gabiru, Apr 26, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2024
    Maradona was a short player (1.63 or 5ft 4 ½), with a slight build, who looked for personal duels. I think he's number one, as FIFA's data attests

    Messi and Pelé weren't tall either (Messi 1.68 or 5ft 6 ½ , Pelé 1.73 or 5ft 8), but are stronger physically. Taller and more full-bodied. More resilient to tackles
     
  14. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #14 carlito86, Apr 27, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2024
    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Premier league 2003/04-2008/09

    First stint at Manchester United before he transferred to Real Madrid



    500 fouls won
    14541 minutes played
    3.09 fouls won per 90







    https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/cri...in=985&liga=&wettbewerb=GB1&pos=&trainer_id=4




    Eden hazard

    Premier league
    2012/13 to 2018/19


    634 fouls won
    19468 minutes played
    2.93 fouls won per 90
    561A4B21-47F3-4A37-B9E3-3D28D6B396F3.jpeg



    https://www.whoscored.com/Players/33404/History/Eden-Hazard



    C.Ronaldo was either as tough as nails or just experienced incredible good luck not sustaining any career halting/defining injuries

    or maybe both

    For me there is no doubt he is at minimum part of the conversation for most fouled player (in the modern era)
     
  15. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #15 carlito86, Apr 27, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2024

    @Buyo
    I don’t know if those 1959 numbers for Pele are representative for his entire career(incredible as they are)but there is Ronaldo here notoriously being fouled 34 times in 3 matches when he was 24 years old(11~fouls won per match)
    19BE0922-A608-46C6-A258-B7BE4EC50CEA.jpeg
    https://www.echoroukonline.com/real...ger-suffers-knee-injury-scare#google_vignette

    his career best season(arguably) was played only weeks after these events (2009/10)
     
  16. Letmepost

    Letmepost Member

    Arsenal
    South Korea
    Apr 11, 2023
    OptaJoe on X: "801 - The player with the most fouls won in the Premier League on record (since 2003-04) is Wilfried Zaha, with 801 across 291 appearances. Halted. #AskOptaJoe" / X (twitter.com)

    In terms of abuse taken within the English Premier League, Wilfried Zaha would be an interesting litmus test also. I'm not sure where to find the lists for the most fouled players of all-time within the English Premier League since 2003/2004, but it does seem like players like it is mostly composed of dribblers, and some strikers who enjoy physical duels within the penalty box.

    I would assume that Cristiano Ronaldo was more frequently taken-down during his more explosive dribbling years, but it seems quite difficult to establish his placing amongst his contemporary peers from overall numbers alone.

    Streaky strikers | Football News | Sky Sports

    Lion of Vienna on X: "Most fouled 03/04-10/11 RT @oilysailor: @LionOfViennaSte A Smith, D Huckerby, K Davies, M Arteta, D Bentley, K Davies, S Pienaar, A Young." / X (twitter.com)

    Most fouled players in the English Premier League (not sure, would like some confirmation from others):

    2003/2004: Alan Smith?
    2004/2005: Darren Huckerby (117)
    2005/2006: Kevin Davies?
    2006/2007: Mikel Arteta? (100?, his wikipedia page claims this number)
    2007/2008: David Bentley (90)
    2008/2009: Kevin Davies (105)

    It is difficult to accurately place Cristiano Ronaldo as someone who draws a lot of fouls based on statistics alone, because his playstyle changed so much throughout the years, and the data from his earlier years are much harder to find.
     
  17. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    #17 carlito86, Apr 28, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2024
    When the overall numbers(be it for fouls won,or dribbles,or goals or whatever else)are roughly similar then seeing how they fared on a Per 90 basis will be the tie breaker

    for example in the 2004/05 premiership

    Darren Huckerby(Norwich) was fouled 117 times in 3189 minutes
    3.30 fouls won per 90
    https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/dar...verein=&liga=&wettbewerb=GB1&pos=&trainer_id=

    Cristiano Ronaldo(Manchester United) was fouled 101 times in 2425 minutes
    3.75 fouls won per 90
    https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/cristiano-ronaldo/leistungsdaten/spieler/8198/saison/2004/plus/1


    Something like this is not a fluke either
    6C747CBB-C093-4F36-8BEF-BD6E2AF78579.jpeg
    https://www.whoscored.com/Regions/2.../3218/PlayerStatistics/Spain-LaLiga-2009-2010


    374AE84C-0E61-44CF-8D5E-CB702F67494C.jpeg
    https://www.whoscored.com/Regions/2...22176/PlayerStatistics/Spain-LaLiga-2023-2024

    He had been the most fouled player in two different divisions and the overall numbers do indeed point towards him being in the conversation(which is what I said)
     
  18. Letmepost

    Letmepost Member

    Arsenal
    South Korea
    Apr 11, 2023
    I cannot comment on the English Premier League records, because the number one player in terms of overall volume does not always rank as first in terms of per 90 minutes statistics, and I would need numbers from many potential candidates to check of all their fouls drawn per 90 minutes.

    To clarify, I cannot say a player has the highest fouls-drawn-per-90 minutes, just because he has superior fouls-drawn-per-90 minutes than the player with the highest overall fouls-drawn count (all I can comment is who has the superior statistic out of the two player sample size).

    As an example, if we talk about the 2015/2016 season, James Vardy had slightly superior goals per 90 minutes than Harry Kane (the overall top-scorer of 2015/2016 season), but I would need to check for the goals per 90 minutes statistics of Sergio Aguero before crowning James Vardy as the player with the highest goals scored per 90 minutes.

    Cristiano Ronaldo was not the most fouled player in the league, for the 2009/2010 La Liga season as far as I know. He ranked 6th in the league in terms of overall volume, and 3rd in terms of fouls-drawn-per-90 minutes once you limit the list to players who got fouled at least as many times as Cristiano Ronaldo. The screen capture you have posted is merely the statistics of players with the highest WhoScored average ratings, with their fouls-drawn-per-90 minutes being shown.

    Cristiano Ronaldo is not the first name that comes to my mind when it comes to this particular topic, but I do have memories of him being fouled an awful lot, especially during his more youthful years. I just think we need more statistics of players such as Kevin Davies for that specific time-frame, to truly see how marked the difference was for Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the field in terms of this particular topic. I do think OPTA has those records, but finding older OPTA records has always been a hassle for me.
     
  19. carlito86

    carlito86 Member+

    Jan 11, 2016
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Kevin Davies seems like someone who brought it on himself(was actively seeking confrontational situations as opposed to someone who was intentionally targeted for being a threat with the ball at his feet)
    C4CB10C3-A3EE-4390-AD0E-01C4D284F069.jpeg


    the first name that comes to mind when it comes to the modern era would probably be Neymar Jr

    after him Cristiano would definitely be part of the conversation

    In that group you would have Eden Hazard,Wilfred Zaha,Lionel Messi and maybe Jack grealish too

    Cristiano caught the end of the old school era of tough/no nonesense defending in the English game
    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/22253531.amp

    And it must be said(overall numbers and VAR aside) not every foul drawn is equal

    A typical ‘foul’ drawn by the physically weak Neymar Jr in the modern day game was a routine/legitimate tackle in the early-mid 2000s premier league.
     

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