The Greatest Player Who Never Played
You can fool all the people sometime. And some people all the time. But Carlos Henrique Raposo, a soccer player, more popularly known as Kaiser, had a unique talent: He could fool all the people all the time.
Kaiser grew up in 1960’s Brazil as a soccer fan and played the game as an adoloscent and a young teen. He got lucky that his play caught the eye of a professional soccer club – Puebla. He got signed on by them at the age of 16 in 1979.
But Puebla released him before he played a single game. Now, while Kaiser was physically gifted, he was not a very good soccer player. The drop hurt. But then he had new ideas.
During those days, marginal soccer players could land limited work on short-term contracts with soccer clubs. Kaiser quickly realized that he suited perfectly for a typical fill-in player that coaches wanted.
So with the help of some legitimate soccer playing friends who would attest for his skills he spread the word about himself. Soon one team after another signed him for a few months’ contract.
Once into the team, he’d ask for a month to get into peak fitness. And when he began practicing with the team, he would fake a fall and falsely claim a hamstring pull. MRI and other modern techniques were not readily available those days so the team would bench him until his contract ended.
Kaiser would use that time to don the team’s gear and bribe the local reporters to write awesome reviews of his soccer skills. By the time he finally ‘recovered’, it was easy to get into a new team.
From 1979 till into the 1990s, Kaiser signed contracts with as many as 10 different soccer teams.
But he never played a single game.
However, there was one instance where his con-game was almost out when the owner of a club demanded that he must play. The club owner was a big fan of the ‘legend’ of Kaiser and was desperate to see him play. The manager put him in play. But Kaiser acted quick. As soon he got in, Kaiser spotted a fan heckling at his team and got into a ugly brawl with him. The refrees threw him out and he got away.
Kaiser was born on April 2nd 1963.
Too bad he was just a day late to totally own that date.
Where do the ‘Kaisers’ exist in your life?
Incredible Guy, isn’t he. He is a fraudster all right, but you can’t help admiring the gall of the guy to fool the whole system, consistently. You could say that he got away in an era in which technology was less prevalent and social media was non-existent.
But then in our age of transparent social media - there are so many fake profiles on instgram, twitter and Fb. People lie about themselves brazenly and still get believed. So, I’d wager a bet that Kaiser would have thrived even more in this digital age - social media would have given him a bigger cloak of secrecy.
And don’t we all know some Kaisers in our lives too? The ones who just get by - make their presence felt - slightly more than a piece of furniture. They know the system. They read the leaders. And use it to their advantage. Some of them are unfairly termed as ‘survivors’ too.
Read all about Kaiser and his exploits in this very delighful wiki page.