Pakistan is a Cricket loving nation and none other sports can match the love that Pakistanis have for Cricket. That is one of the reasons of the downfall of our national game Hockey because people lost their interest in hockey may be due to lack of funding and that support which is given to cricket.
But Football has emerged as the second most loved sports in Pakistan in last one decade. The credit goes to sports channels in Pakistan as the media actively showcased big football matches, people developed a taste for this game and now they are familiar with famous figures of this sports.
The game is followed more in cities like Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, but out of nowhere, from Chaman, Balochistan emerged Kaleemullah, who became the first Pakistani Football player to sign with a United States Football Club. And soon he became the most known and famous player in Pakistan.
Kaleemullah started his career with Young Afghan club as a teenager and soon Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) saw his talent and signed him. He scored 72 goals for them in 94 appearances in 5 years and made the headlines as he was top scorer many times.
With his success in the International matches, Kaleemullah caught the eye of a Kyrgyzstan club FC Dordoi Bishkek. He continued the same form that he had been showing in Pakistan and also became the highest scorer in Kyrgyzstan league. He also helped his side win the league title, league cup and the super cup.
Kaleemullah went to USA in May 2015 and trained with the United Soccer League (USL) club Sacramento Republic and signed for them after impressing them in the training grounds. He was handed a contract for 4 months. Kaleemullah played with some of the best Football players of the country and shared pitch with some all time greats.
In the latest development, Kaleemullah has been signed by another top USL side Tulsa Roughnecks FC, who have made Kaleemullah their most valuable player by paying him the huge amount. They have also given him No.10 shirt, which is given to the best player of the team.
Kaleemullah will have a chance to play more against some of the top players and in the Cup competition of USA, he may come against some of the most famous players of the world Frank Lampard, Pirlo, David Villa, Didier Drogba, Kaka and Robby Keane. The Pakistani player has surely got a chance to impress more and catch eye of world’s top players.
If Kaleemullah can be among the top players in the world, it will give a belief to all the young and emerging players in Pakistan that they can also reach the top level with their hard work. The Chaman Boy can surely become an inspiration for many in Pakistan.
Story first published: 22nd December 2015