The Greatest Footballer Never to Play Football

Having premiered earlier at Tribeca this year, and being released in the UK today, “Kaiser!“is one of those jaw-dropping stories underlining that life sure is a lot stranger than fiction - if you just give it a try.

Taken from the official Wikipedia page: “Carlos Henrique Raposo (born 2 April 1963), commonly known as Carlos Kaiser, is a Brazilian former footballer who played as a striker better known as being a "farce footballer". He was selected to play with many teams in his decade-long career, but never actually played a regulation game and hid his limited ability with phony injuries, frequent team changes and other ruses.

He later returned to Brazil and started a career as a farce footballer since he "wanted to be a footballer, but did not want to play football", becoming friends of many footballers such as Carlos Alberto Torres, Ricardo Rocha and Renato Gaúcho so that he would have a big network to be recommended whenever he needed to transfer to a new club. With a physical shape similar to professional footballers, but lacking skills, his fraud consisted of signing a short contract and stating that he was lacking match fitness so that he would spend the first weeks only with physical training where he could shine. When he had to train with other players, he would feign a hamstring injury; the technology at the time made it difficult to detect the fraud. He had a dentist who claimed he had focal infection whenever any club wanted to go further. By following these steps, he managed to stay a few months at the various clubs just training and without ever being exposed as a fraud.

Another part of the farce was to befriend journalists so that they would write fake news about him. In one newspaper article, it was reported that he had such a great time at Puebla that he was even invited to become a Mexican citizen to play for the national team. He also used toy mobile phones, unpopular and expensive at the time, to create fake conversations in foreign languages or reject non-existent transfer offers to create an image of himself as a valuable player.“