Now 55, Carlos was signed by a host of clubs, including giants such as Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama and many other teams during a career that spanned two decades.
His astonishing story features in a brilliant new documentary by director Louis Myles and Irish producers Dr. Tom Markham and Rob Fullam called ‘Kaiser: The Greatest Footballer Never To Play Football.’
The title stems from a nickname the protagonist earned because of his resemblance to Franz Beckenbauer in his youth.
His real name is Carlos Henrique Raposo.
Somehow, he never played a professional match in his life, bouncing from club to club while hiding his limited ability by faking injury the moment it dawned on him his secret might get sprung.
Kaiser’s party trick was to manipulate powerful figures at each club and boast of his CV to Presidents.
The likes of Bebeto, Carlos Alberto, Zico, Junior, Renato Gaucho all speak in the movie about the incredible tale that slips between fantasy and reality.
In fact, Bebeto once said of his former teammate and pal: “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.”
However, during a trial game Kaiser said he was mistakenly sent off instead of a player that looked like him, which got the young forward the sack from the Rio club.
At 16, he earned his first professional contract with Mexican club Puebla, only to be released months later without playing a single game.
When he returned to Brazil, he befriended the likes of Carlos Alberto Torres, Ricardo Rocha and Renato Gaúcho.
A renowned party boy who knew every promoter in Rio, he ensured his friends were given the royal treatment in the best nightclubs in towns, as well as introduced to the most attractive girls.
It was a clever trick with the aim of building a network of friends that could vouch for Kaiser and help get him short-term deals at a variety of clubs.
Cleverly, he always told his new employers that he lacked match-fitness and would spend the first few weeks training without a ball.