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Carlos Kaiser: A 26-year career without ever kicking a ball!

Meet the conman whose 26-year football career spanned across 4 different countries, but never saw him play a single match. Here is the story of Carlos Kaiser.

Carlos Henrique Raposo, more commonly known as Carlos Kaiser lived a rather unique football career.

It spanned across 26 years and 4 countries, and saw him allegedly sleep with 1000 women – but never actually kick a ball for a club! His story is one of the greatest ever scams in football.

The Brazilian conman enjoyed contracts with Flamengo, Botafogo, Bangu, Fluminense, America, Vasco da Gama, El Paso, Puebla, and Gazelec Ajaccio, never playing a single minute for any of the sides.

Kaiser himself even goes as far to say that the greats of the day, such as Zico, Carlos Alberto, and Bebeto, were all aware of his scam, and turned a blind eye!

His story even inspired a documentary of his achievement, titled “The Greatest Footballer to Never Play Football”.

How did Carlos Kaiser get away with it?

So how did Carlos Kaiser get away with playing for so long, and for so many clubs, without actually playing?

A lot of his success relied upon a particular skillset which, as the now 60-year-old himself confesses, was his ability to feign injury.

Carlos Kaiser was skilled in pretending to be injured in order to avoid playing any actual football for the clubs he signed for.
Image credit: Marca

Kaiser himself said “I cheated with the doctors.”

“The president of the club came up to me and said: ‘You never play!’ I said: ‘I have the medical report here and they finally figured out what my problem is. It’s a dental problem’. It was a complete lie.”

“At another club I played for, they brought in a black magic priest to perform rituals for me to heal my bruises. They were paying him well.”

“I went up to him and said, ‘Take your money, mate. Nothing’s wrong with me. Take your money and don’t bother doing your work because I intend to stay injured for the rest of my life.”

The Brazilian conman went to remarkable lengths to ensure that he never actually had to play a match, or even attend training for his clubs.

When he was unable to stop his manager trying to sub him on in a match against Cortiba, Kaiser managed to earn a red card for fighting with a fan during his substitutions, and avoided playing once more!

The system

But how did Carlos Kaiser even manage to get into such high profile clubs in the first place, if he never trained or played?

His system was a cleverly thought-out one, that relied upon having professional friends in somewhat high places.

He also claims that top professionals at the time were aware of his scam, and turned a blind eye to it.

“The players knew it, but they were all my friends. The journalists, whom I paid to publish reports… Nobody persecuted me.”

Carlos Kaiser claimed that top professionals at the time knew about his scam and turned a blind eye to it.
Image credit: The Guardian

He would leverage friends in professional positions to get his foot through the door with clubs, and then use his self confessed charm to win over those within the club in order to gain a contract that was just long enough to provide him with a top wage.

He would then use his acting skills to get out of any actual football during his stay with the club, and then move on to the next friend and the next club when his current one got fed up of his absence on the pitch.

Kaiser himself even considers his actions a justice against football clubs on the whole, saying “The clubs have deceived and continued to deceive footballers a lot,” he explained. “Someone had to take revenge for all of them.”

Why did Carlos Kaiser do it all?

So, you’re probably wondering – aside from a footballer’s wages, what made Carlos Kaiser commit to such an elaborate and high-profile scam?

Well, the answer is simple – women.

The Brazilian claims that “like Michael Douglas” he is a sex addict, and that his sole intention of becoming a ‘footballer’ was to gain the attention of women.

He claims that he slept with 1000 women during his career as a football phoney.

Carlos Kaiser claimed that he is a sex addict and did his entire football scam in order to get women to sleep with him.
Image credit: FAZ

Kaiser himself said:

“I am the best football player who has never played football… I slept with 1,000 women and pretended to be injured my entire career.”

“Every night I was in nightclubs until the early hours of the morning, Monday to Monday. I was never in a condition to train or play in the morning”

“I made sure I was seen with the best Brazilian football players. Just being a football player made me a magnet for women. “

“I was a sex addict, like Michael Douglas. I would sleep with at least three women a day.” 

The conman eventually hung his boots up without eve having to have actually put them on – save for his one close call against Cortiba – and speaks openly about his scam nowadays.

One of football’s greatest ever conmen was also one of the few who actually managed to end their career on their own terms, and without being caught.

Southampton imposter Ali Dia was no so lucky – read all about his story here!