Using his charm and tricks as his weapons he built a 20-year-career as a striker despite the fact that he never scored a single goal. His name? Carlos Henrique Kaiser.
Like most other kids in Brazil, Carlos Henrique, wanted to be a football player. He was born into a relatively poor family and dreamt of a more comfortable life.
In his early years he was actually quite good and he was picked up by Mexican football club Puebla, at the age of 16.
In the early 80′s, he made friends with some of Brazil’s most famous players: Romario, Edmundo, Ricardo Rocha, Renato Gaúcho, Branco etc.
Whenever they signed a new contract, they would convince their club to give the ‘talented’ Kaiser a three month trial contract. Immediately after signing his deal, Kaiser would confess that he needed a couple of weeks to get fit.
And when he did join the training sessions, he would drop to the ground at the first opportunity, clutching his hamstring.
With none of today’s medical equipment available during those times, the club had no option but to believe his story, allowing him to spend more time on the treatment table while getting paid by the club.
He became attached to the lifestyle of the footballer, partying and womanising were his true vocations. And for all those moments he needed a money.
While ‘injured’ he worked to make himself popular with his teammates. “In those days players were not allowed to leave the hotel before a match“, said Kaiser. “So several days before they would arrive in the hotel, I would rent a few rooms and hire women to stay there. So now when the players arrived, they didn’t even have to leave the hotel to meet women.“
While at Botafogo in the early 90′s, Kaiser ofted carried around an early, and huge, mobile phone. He used it to hold extensive telephone conversations in English with, apparently, interested clubs from foreign countries. It was easy to fool his fellow players, since none of them spoke Engish. But the team doctor did. He quickly realized that Kaiser’s English didn’t make any sense. One day while the con-man was taking a shower, the doctor went to check out Kaiser’s phone – and discovered it was a toy phone.
Thus began his journey as a footballer who travelled from club to club, conning sides into buying him and keeping him on their books while he used his status as a footballer to score off the field with women.
After such incidents, Kaiser simply moved to another club, where he would repeat his successful formula. Aside from Botafogo, he had “played” at several other major Brazilian clubs: Flamengo, Vasco, Palmeiras and Fluminense.
Former Brazil international Ricardo Rocha:”This guy is the greatest liar in football.”
While under contract for another Brazilian club – Bangu – and still ‘working on his fitness’, Kaiser faced an unwelcome surprise. He was included in the squad. “The coach assured me I would only sit on the bench. But the team was losing and the coach suddenly told me to warm up.” Entering the field would expose his lack of ability. He had to do something. Quick.
“I noticed that the fans were insulting their own teamś players. So I climbed into the fence and launched verbal assaults against the fans.” Kaiser received a red card. Club president Castor de Andrade was furious and demanded an explanation. Kaiser knew what to say.
“Before you say anything, listen. God gave me a father, who passed away. But he gave me another“, pointing to De Adrade. “And I’ll never allow anyone to say my father is a thief. But the fans were saying exactly that. That’s why I intervened.”
De Andrade awarded Kaiser with a six-month extension.
A few years later, Kaiser pushed his luck even further. Seeing how all the big Brazilian football stars were making their move to Europe, Kaiser decided he couldn’t stay behind and signed for French club Gazelec Ajaccio. There he faced his biggest challenge yet during his first training session. Hundreds of fans had arrived to witness the undoubtedly wonderful skills of their new Brazilian star.
Kaiser didn’t want to disappoint them, so pulling his old trick – collapsing into agony after his first touch of the ball – wasn’t an option. Instead, to the delight of the fans, he started kicking balls into the crowd. And continued doing so, until there were no balls left. The coach had no other choice than doing 90 minutes of physical exercise, which Kaiser actually excelled at.
Ultimately, he stayed several years at Ajaccio, which featured in France’s Ligue 2, managing twenty short substitute performances. He finally returned to Rio and ended his impressive career, during which the fabled striker had scored zero goals.
Carlos Henrique Kaiser – the Brazilian man who “wanted to be a footballer without having to play football.”
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