European giants leading in cynical fouls and picking up cards

German team lining up in the past World Cup tournament held in 2014. [Photo/Courtesy]
It's official – Germany are the dirtiest team in World Cup history.

Die Mannschaft may be four-time champions and current holders of the most glittering prize in football.

But a new study analysing the disciplinary records of all the nations who have competed at every World Cup since 1930 revealed that Germany have had more players booked and sent off than any other country.

Germany have committed no fewer than 122 yellow card offences. They have had two players sent off for picking up a second yellow, while another five have seen a straight red.

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Argentina – the nation once branded 'animals' by England boss Alf Ramsey in 1966 – are in second place, based on a scoring system that awards five points for a yellow card, seven points for a second yellow card and 10 points for a straight red.

Germany's 'Dirty Score' of 647 points is 17 points more than the Argentines.

Although it must be stressed that in 1974, when West Germany won the tournament they hosted, East Germany also played in the finals.

The disciplinary of both teams have been included.

Brazil are currently in third, 100 points behind Argentina.

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That's quite a margin given the five-time champions have been World Cup ever-presents.

England are in 12th, despite picking up just three red cards in the history of the tournament.

The study, conducted by BetVictor , one of Europe's leading online gaming companies, discovered that there have been a total of 2,302 bookings, second bookings and straight sending offs in 20 World Cup tournaments since Uruguay were the first hosts 88 years ago.

No fewer than 2,133 players have been cautioned, with officials handing out 51 second bookings and 118 straight reds.

The dirtiest tournament on record was the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Korea and Japan, with the highest average number of red and yellow cards per game.

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