The story of Carlos “Kaiser” Henrique is surely one of the most unusual and at the same time one of the most interesting that has happened in the world of football. You may have never heard of him or seen him play, despite the fact he was in some of the best football clubs in the 1980s and 1990s. That is not surprising, as Carlos “Kaiser” Henrique is even now considered as one of the greatest football players to never play a single match.
Carlos “Kaiser” Henrique, born on April 2nd, 1963 also known as simply Carlos Kaiser, who got his name “Kaiser” from looking very similar to Franz Beckenbauer, is a former Brazilian striker who managed to execute one of the biggest football frauds in the history of the sport. And all that without getting caught. Carlos Kaiser is now known as the “farce footballer”, which means a footballer, who does not want to play football. Sounds weird, and it was. But as weird as it seems it is an interesting story of how Carlos Kaiser became the best footballer who never played football.
His story begins in 1979 when he was noticed by Puebla scouts during the training session at Flamengo. Not long after he was signed by the Mexican club, where we will start our story. Carlos Kaiser had a plan.
He would join a club, make sure he got injured in the first few days and remain sidelined until the contract expired, a simple plan that worked. During his career, he befriended some of the best footballers at that time and the richest people, in addition to manipulating journalist, who would all help him extend his network of recommendations, which ultimately allowed him to move between clubs easily. And this is not where it all stops. Kaiser paid youth team players to injure him during practice, bribe fans to chant his name and even had his own personal doctor who would claim Kaiser has a focal infection, just to add to his list of tricks, which would allow him to remain sidelined and not play. All of this, of course, would not work if he wasn’t the kind of person he was. Kaiser was lovable by many and a good manipulator, who always got things his way.
Bebeto, the famous Brazillian footballer stated: “His chat was so good that if you let him open his mouth, that would be it. He’d charm you. You couldn’t avoid it. That would be it.”
One of the biggest scams he executed was claiming he played with Talleres de Córdoba and Independiente, where he was a part of the squad which won both the 1984 Copa Libertadores and the 1984 Intercontinental Cup. He managed to do so by portraying himself as Carlos Enrique.
However. This is just one of the lies he managed to spread, and with his manipulation and help from a journalist who would write fake stories about him, that was not that hard.
Carlos Kaiser had a plan and executed it to perfection. In his 26-year long career, Kaiser “played” for a total of 10 clubs with no appearances in his record. Despite reportedly not having a lot of money, he lived a good life. He was surrounded by women and influential people, he attended the most exclusive parties and was considered one of the best footballers to ever walk the face of the earth. Without a single match in his record. How he managed to get away with it for 26 years is something that still boggles the minds of many. Despite the fact he was lying and deceiving clubs and other people, his story is an impressive one nonetheless.
In fact, the story of Carlos “Kaiser” Henrique is so unordinary and so interesting, he even got a movie made about him, where he explained how he achieved his status as the best football player that never played football.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.