He's so good, he's having a biography written on his career - Kaiser : The greatest player never to have played football by journalist Rob Smyth, expected to be published in 2018.
The name of Carlos Henrique has been doing the rounds in social media, and he's now popular as 'the striker who never scored a goal'. Commonly referred to as 'Carlos Kaiser' due to his resemblance to Franz 'Kaiser' Beckenbauer, Henrique might just be the greatest farce footballer of all time. Today, we look back at his rather strange career, and disclose 5 of his antics that you could never imagine.
Kaiser was born in Rio Pardo, Brazil, in April 1963. He was gifted with a physique similar to that of a professional footballer, but had no ability on the ball whatsoever. He was not one to give up, though. So, did he train hard against all odds to reach his goal? Absolutely not.
He was in the youth ranks of Brazilian giants Botafogo and Flamengo, but never played a minute of senior first team football for either of them. His flaws were many in number, and he knew there was no way he could play at the professional level. He somehow managed to impress the scouts of Mexican club Puebla, and moved there at a young age of 16.
He was horridly exposed there, and released after a few months. That's when he decided to pull of a massive hoax in order to live his dream of becoming a footballer. A decade later, he had the privilege of being involved with some of the best clubs in Brazil. In the process, he conned the footballing world with tricks that'll baffle us. Here we'll be looking at five such tricks.
#1 "I injured my hamstring"
Kaiser kick started his farce football career by befriending popular professional footballers like Carlos Alberto Torres, and Renato Gaúcho. This enabled him to create a network that'd help him get recommendations at various clubs, whenever he needed a new one. He started off professionally with his youth club Botafogo, but signed a short contract and faked a hamstring injury in order to hide his inability to play football at that level.
As mentioned before, he had the physique of a footballer, and hence he'd spend his initial days at a club doing only physical training. The technology at that time was far from developed, and as a result, there was no way to confirm whether he really had an injury or not. So, he carried on.
He also had a dentist to falsely claim that he had focal infection, which helped him avoid getting caught, anytime a club seriously suspected him.
#2 "I'm sorry, but I'm really happy at my current club"
Carlos was a true professional when it came to fraudulence. He set the bar high when he started using toy mobile phones, and faked conversations with European clubs, in English, to fool the Brazilians.
He'd often mention in his imaginary phone calls that he was happy at his current club, and was rejecting an offer from a massive European club. This led the people to believe that he was a player of the highest level, and that the club was lucky to have him. Mobile phones were expensive at that time and very few people could afford one.
However, once, a doctor at one of his clubs who was fluent in English, caught his tomfoolery, and exposed his antics. He was unharmed though, as he always had the option to change his club, thanks to the network he had created within the industry.
#3 "I spent 8 seasons in France, and was the top scorer at my club"
He really wasn't, you know. It wasn't even eight months. But, Kaiser did actually go to France to play for second division club Gazélec Ajaccio. He was supposedly a 'big signing' according to the French, and the club had arranged a training session with the fans to celebrate his arrival.
Afraid of being caught, Carlos kicked all the balls to the stands while kissing the club crest, which was seen as a way of 'showing love' for his new club.
However, his trick of faking injuries didn't work for long there and he returned to Brazil after a few months.
Kaiser had a great relationship with the sports journalists, and that helped him get articles printed to publicise his exploits in France, where he had 'spent 8 seasons and scored tons of goals' according to the articles.
#4 "It's not my fault. They called me a thief"
Henrique returned to Brazil after his short stint in France, and joined Bangu. His injury scam wasn't accepted by the club sponsors - Castor de Andrade, at all, and he was forced to play games for them.
Initially on the bench, Kaiser was being prepared to be brought on as a substitute when his team was losing 2-0. It felt as if though his time was up, and his fraudulence would now be exposed.
But, Carlos always has an answer, and this time, it was fighting against a group of hostile fans who he later claimed called him a 'thief'. He was sent off before he could be brought on, and as luck would have it, he was forgiven for his act, and instead earned a 6-month contract extension.
#5 "I won the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup"
Would you believe it if I said that Kaiser actually won the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup in 1984?
He claimed that he had played for Argentine clubs like Talleres de Còrdoba and Independiente, being brought by a man he called 'Alejandro' who in turn was a friend of Jorge Burruchaga. He somehow successfully portrayed himself as Carlos Enrique, who was actually a part of the 1984 Copa winning team.
These were just five of the many insane things Henrique did to live the life he had always dreamt of, and if you think of it, it was a low - scale fairy tale. His passion for the game is commendable, and it'd be a surprise to find someone else who'd be willing to go the distance that Carlos did in order to achieve what he wanted.
Truly, Kaiser must be the greatest footballer never to play the game.