|Full name||Muhammed Essa Khan|
|Date of birth||20 November 1983|
|Place of birth||Chaman, Pakistan|
|Playing position||Striker, Supporting striker|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
|Competitor for Pakistan|
|South Asian Games|
Muhammad Essa Khan (Urdu/Pashto: محمد عیسیٰ خان) (born on 20 November 1983) is a Pashtun Pakistani footballer playing currently for KRL FC. The striker is also the captain of Pakistan national football team and is one of the most talented football players Pakistan has seen in recent times. He can be used as a playmaker particularly in support of a striker, or a genuine centre forward because of his ball holding and passing skills. He is also a left-footed free-kick specialist. Essa has become one of the most well known faces in Pakistani football, due to his regular goal scoring at international level.
Born in the football-mad city of Chaman in Pakistan's Balochistan province, he took up the game with great interest and passion. He played in the Afghan Club Chaman youth team before signing for PTCL FC.
He was discovered by then Pakistan youth team and Under 23 manager John Layton back in early 1999 and found his way into the Pakistan national football team soon enough, receiving his first cap in 2000.
He won the old 2003 PFF President's Cup with PTCL FC. In 2004, Essa was called up to the Pakistan U23 squad for the SAF Games. He ended the tournament as top scorer and was player of the tournament, and helped Pakistan win Gold.
Essa most famous moment came when he scored from a free-kick against India in the first match of the 2005 Pakistan-India friendly series, at the Ayub National Stadium, Quetta to tie the game 1–1 with minutes to go before the final whistle. With a 3–0 victory in the final game in which Essa scored, he was offered a playing contract from major Indian football team East Bengal Club, but the PFF seemingly turned it down to the disappointment of many Pakistani football fans.
In the inaugural 2004 PPL season he returned to his home town club Afghan Club Chaman with his goals helping them to survive relegation. The following season, the striker transferring to WAPDA FC but could not help them retain their PPL title; finishing second to Pakistan Army FC. In 2006 he captained Pakistan to another SAF Games gold medal. Returning from the Games, he moved to KRL and helping them finish 3rd in the 2006–07 season.
There had been talk of a few Iranian clubs, notably Foolad F.C. as well as Homa F.C. inviting Essa over for a trial during the previous season but it could not be finalised due to Essa's commitments with KRL. A proposed move to prominent Bangladesh Pro League side Mohammedan Sporting Club also failed to materialise.
Essa played in the Geo Super Football League for Quetta Zorawar as captain with the club coming second in the league round and losing semi-finalists in the knock-out round of the tournament, although he was awarded the SFL 2007 Player of the Tournament trophy. The striker was awarded the 'Salaam Pakistan Award' alongside tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and female squash player Maria Toor Pakay for their contributions to sport by the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf on 13 August 2007. He captained Pakistan to a surprise nil-nil draw against Iraq in Syria in the second leg of the World Cup 2010 qualifiers, but were knocked out due to a 7–0 aggregate loss.
Once he played for shahbaz united and was substituted after missing a penalty kick. Shahbaz united eventually won that match against KRL when Nanoo scored a hatrick and aziz laris scored winner. In the 2007/08 season of the PPL, Essa struggled to score goals, only scoring 9 goals in 21 appearances. He retained his Captaincy for the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup qualifying campaign. Despite a 2–0 win against Chinese Taipei in the first match, they lost 7–1 to Sri Lanka which made Pakistan's 9–2 demolition of Guam meaningless as they finished behind on points to Sri Lanka, thus failing to qualify for the main round. Because of injury, Essa had to miss the SAFF Cup 2008.
In 2009 he opened an academy at his home town in Chaman, called the Essa Khan Academy.
International career stats
Goals for Senior National Team
|1 March 2006||Karachi, Pakistan||United Arab Emirates||1–4||Lost||2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|2 April 2006||Dhaka, Bangladesh||Kyrgyzstan||1–0||Won||2006 AFC Challenge Cup|
|6 April 2006||Dhaka, Bangladesh||Macau||2–2||Draw||2006 AFC Challenge Cup|
|16 August 2006||Quetta, Pakistan||Oman||1–4||Lost||2007 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|25 March 2008||Pokhara, Nepal||Nepal||1–2||Lost||Friendly|
|2 April 2008||Taipei, Taiwan||Chinese Taipei||2–1||Won||2008 AFC Challenge Cup qualification|
- South Asian Games Gold 2004, 2006
With PTCL FC