The football industry is rife with outstanding players who will go down in the history books as legends. Their skill and sportsmanship will be talked about for generations to come.
But one footballer will go down in history for a very different reason. His name was Carlos Henrique Kaiser and he is commonly referred to as football’s greatest liar.
An Inefficient Striker
Carlos Kaiser was raised on football, like most Brazilian kids. But he didn’t put in enough work to play at a professional level. However, despite this fact, Carlos managed to enjoy a very ‘successful’ career as a striker for 20 years. A very inefficient striker who did not score a single goal during the tenure of his career.
Thanks to his tight friendship with a few Brazilian football stars, he was able to convince clubs to take him on for three-month trial periods. Of course, he was paid handsomely during that time.
Perpetual Hamstring Injuries
Carlos used the same tactic in nearly every club he joined.
He would ask them to give him a month to focus solely on fitness. When the time for real practice came, he would kick the ball hard, clutch his hamstrings, and fall to the ground. At the time, there were no MRI scanners, and no one could figure out whether the injury was real or not. So they had no choice but to have him sit out for the next 3-4 weeks.
Carlos hopped from club to club quite frequently, and managed to pull the same hamstring at every real practice session. In this way he was able to get a steady pay without actually playing any football.
While he was in one club, Botafogo, Kaiser would constantly walk around with a phone, pretending to talk, in English, to foreign clubs that were interested in his abilities. Besides the team doctor, no one in the club spoke a word of English, so they bought the ruse.
When the doctor realised that he was speaking absolute gibberish, he decided to investigate further and found that the phone Kaiser was using was nothing but a toy. Of course, this got him into a heap of trouble. But Kaiser was unfazed and simply moved to another club.
In the 90s, Kaiser found himself playing for Bangu. The club president, Castor De Andrade wanted his ‘star player’ on the pitch, and during a match where Bangu were losing badly, Kaiser was told to warm up.
Seeing that he might soon be discovered, Kaiser was desperate for a reprieve. He noticed that the fans were insulting his team players, so he climbed into the stands and began to hurl insults at the crowd gathered there. Thanks to this, Kaiser was given a red card even before entering the field.
The club president, De Andrade, was outraged and demanded an explanation. Kaiser replied coolly – “God gave me a father, who passed away. But he gave me another father (De Andrade), and I won’t allow anyone to say that my father is a thief. The fans were saying exactly that. That’s why I intervened”.
De Andrade was so pleased by this reply that he immediately granted Kaiser a 6-month extension.
After spending a large portion of his ‘career’ in Brazil, Kaiser decided to try for foreign teams. He managed to join Ajaccio, a team from the island of Corsica.
At the time, Brazilian football was all the rage, and fans were eager to see the new player on their favourite team. Realising he was in a fix, Kaiser picked up every single practice ball and kicked it into the stands as souvenirs for the audience. To top off the ruse, he even kissed the club’s badge.
Perplexed by this sudden surge of passion for the club, the other players were forced to forego their practice session and focus on physical fitness instead.
Carlos managed to stay on the team for a few years, while faking multiple injuries to avoid showcasing his real skill. And after a ‘glorious’ career of about 20 years, he finally hung up his shoes and retired from professional football.
Perhaps he wasn’t the most decorated player in football history, and far from being the most skilled. But he will go down in history as football’s greatest liar, and just for that, his story is worth telling.
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