Kaleemullah Khan (footballer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Kalim Ullah)
Jump to: navigation, search
Kaleemullah Khan
Kaleemullah playing for Sacramento Republic FC.jpg
Khan playing for Sacramento Republic in 2015
Personal information
Full name Kaleemullah Khan
Date of birth (1992-09-20) 20 September 1992 (age 24)
Place of birth Chaman, Balochistan, Pakistan[1]
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Forward / Winger / Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Tulsa Roughnecks
Number 10
Youth career
2006 Government High School, Chaman[2]
2007–2008 Young Afghan[2]
2009–2010 Khan Research Laboratories
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2014 Khan Research Laboratories 94 (72)
2014–2015 Dordoi Bishkek 22 (20)
2015 Sacramento Republic 7 (0)
2015–2017 Tulsa Roughnecks 23 (1)
2016–2017 K-Electric (loan) 0 (0)
National team
2010–2015 Pakistan U23 7 (1)
2011– Pakistan 25 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 October 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 24 March 2015

Kaleemullah Khan (Urdu: کلیم الله خان‎; born 20 September 1992[1]) is a Pakistani footballer who plays for K-Electric on loan from Tulsa Roughnecks and the Pakistan national team.[3] Khan plays as a midfielder or forward, and has been deployed in a variety of attacking roles – as an attacking midfielder, second striker, centre forward and on either wing.[1] He has been praised for his positioning, teamwork and stamina, and has shown consistency in scoring and creating goals.

A product of KRL's youth system, he made his first-team breakthrough in the 2009 season; he played almost every game as the club won the league and cup double and qualified for the President's Cup. Khan scored 35 goals in all competitions[4] in the 2012 season as KRL won a historic double; the league title, cup and qualified for the President's Cup reaching the final in 2013, scoring 5 goals in the competition. Khan won his fourth league title with KRL in 2013 season and went on to sign for Dordoi in 2014, where he played a major role in helping the team win a treble; the league title, league cup and super cup, scoring 18 goals and receiving the award for the league's highest top goalscorer, and was also named as the Best Player of Kyrgyzstan League.[5] On 18 June 2015 it was announced that Kaleemullah had signed with the Sacramento Republic of the United Soccer League on a four-month contract, the third tier of the United States soccer league system.

Khan earned a call-up to the Pakistan national team in 2011. At the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualification he scored his first international goal against Macau as Pakistan won the match 2–0.[6] In 2014, Khan was named captain of the national team.


Khan Research Laboratories[edit]

Early years[edit]

Khan is a product of Khan Research Laboratories youth academy, starting his football career in the 2009 season. He made his debut on 27 July 2009 in a 3–0 win against Air Force, scoring his first goal in the 69th minute.[7] He finished 2009 season with 4 goals in all competitions. During the 2010 season, Khan was soon promoted to the first team by KRL manager Sajjad Mahmood. Khan took his chance and was an important player in KRL's Challenge Cup-winning squad of the 2010 season, scoring the second goal of the 4–0 win against Pakistan Navy in the cup final. Khan also made his debut AFC President's Cup on 10 May 2010 in a 2–1 win against Naga Corp from Cambodia, scoring both the goals in the continental club competition.

Khan won the Pakistan Premier League with Khan Research Laboratories in 2011 as KRL set a Pakistan Premier League record scoring the most points in a season in the Pakistan Premier League with 77 points.[3] Khan also won the Challenge Cup with KRL (1–0) against rivals K-Electric in 2011.

2012–13 season[edit]

During 2012 season, he became involved in the first-team under then manager Tariq Lutfi who replaced manager Sajjad Mahmood the previous season; Khan established himself as a key player – playing almost in every match and scored 31 times to make him the league's all-time record top goal scorer. The club clinched a historic double; winning the league title, the domestic cup and qualified for the AFC President's Cup[8] for the following season – finishing runners-up in the competition losing (1–0) to Turkmenistan's Balkan.[3][9] Khan finished as the second top goal scorer of the continental cup with 7 goals behind Mirlan Murzaev, scoring 5 goals in an 8–0 group stage win against Yeedzin following with goals in 1–0 victory over Dordoi Bishkek from Kyrgyzstan and a 2–0 win against Hilal Al-Quds from Palestine in the final group stage.[10][11]

Khan was awarded the player of the year award by Pakistan Football Federation and was declared the best player in the Pakistan Premier League for his performances domestically in the league and internationally at AFC President's Cup in 2013. In 2013 season, Khan won his fourth and last league title with the Rawalpindi side.[12]

Dordoi Bishkek[edit]

2014 season[edit]

Kaleemullah signed for FC Dordoi Bishkek in 2014, who was soon joined by his former club and Pakistan national team players Muhammad Adil and Saddam Hussain, by former Pakistan coach Zaviša Milosavljević, after his performances in AFC President's Cup 2013 on an initial five-month contract,[13] wearing the Number 9 shirt.[14] After impressing during this five-month stint, Khan extended his contract by signing a new two-year contract with Dordoi in July 2014.[15]

He played a major role in helping the team win a treble; the league title, league cup and super cup, finishing as top goal scorer, scoring 18 goals in 17 appearances in the league with 3 goals out of 3 appearances in the domestic league cup.[5] Khan's remarkable form and greater goals to appearance ratio for Dordoi Bishkek in the Shoro Top League as well as Kyrgyzstan Cup and Kyrgyzstan Super Cup in 2014 edition earned him the best player award in the league by the Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic.[16] In total, Kaleemullah finished with 21 goals in 21 matches in the 2014 season for his new club in all competitions.

2015 season[edit]

Khan made his AFC Cup debut on 9 February 2015 in a 1–0 defeat against Turkmenistan side Ahal in the preliminary round.[17] In an interview with Express Tribune, Khan revealed that he has received letters from Þróttur Reykjavík from Iceland and Chongqing Lifan from China stating that 'they want him to train with the teams for at least a week'.[18] In May, Khan went on trial with United Soccer League side Sacramento Republic for their 2015 season campaign.[19]

Sacramento Republic[edit]

On 18 June 2015 it was announced that Kaleemullah had signed with the Sacramento Republic of the USL, the third tier of the United States soccer league system on a four-month contract.[20] At that time, it was believed that he was the first Pakistani-born player to sign a contract with a professional soccer club in the United States. About signing Kaleemullah, Republic FC Technical Director Graham Smith said, "The signing of Kaleemullah demonstrates the continued mission of Republic FC to bring the best players from around the world to our Capital City...His scoring prowess is well documented..."[21][22]

He made his debut for the club on 20 June 2015, two days after signing, entering the match as a 66th-minute substitute for captain Justin Braun. The Republic won that match 2–1.[21] During the match, he made several runs and showed his skill on the ball and eye for passing. He later described the match as a "dream debut."[23]

Tulsa Roughnecks[edit]

On 16 December 2015, Tulsa Roughnecks FC announced the signing of Kaleemullah for the 2016 USL season.[24] In an interview after the move, Kaleemullah said he "couldn't settle in California [with Sacramento]" but that he hoped his transfer would reignite hopes of a "dream move" to the MLS.[25]

On 22 December 2016, the Dawn Newspaper in an interview with Kaleemullah reported that he has joined K-Electric on a loan deal from Tulsa Roughnecks until March 2017.[26]

International career[edit]

Khan represented Pakistan at various youth levels, starting with the under-23s in 2010. He was called up to the under-23 team for the 2010 Asian Games making his debut in a 6–0 group stage defeat against Thailand. He earned seven caps for the under-23s and scored one goal, the first in a 2–0 thrashing of arch-rivals India. Whilst with the under-23 team, Kaleemullah also represented Pakistan in the Asian Games and South Asian Games.

The following year, Khan's regular appearances for KRL's first team caused Pakistan national team manager Zaviša Milosavljević to publicly consider him for a call-up, Khan was named in the squad for a friendly against Palestine.[1] With less opportunity to try out new players, and with the national team facing crucial qualifiers for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup, Milosavljević felt that Khan was needed at the national level. He was called in the senior squad for its next get-together, a training session in Lahore in March. Khan earned his first senior cap for Pakistan in a 0–0 draw against Palestine on 4 March 2011 prior to the qualifiers.[1] He made his debut in this game as a substitute at the Punjab Stadium, his home stadium. He was named in the squad for the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualification matches against India, Turkmenistan and Chinese Taipei later the same month.

2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers[edit]

At the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualification he scored his first international goal against Macau as Pakistan won the match 2–0 on 21 March 2013.

2018 World Cup qualifiers[edit]

Kaleemullah was also called up for the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup against Yemen and played in legs of the matches which were played at neutral venues in March 2015, due to security concerns in their respective countries. Pakistan could not beat the strong Yemen national team and lost 3–1 away in Qatar, and drew 0–0 at the home leg in Bahrain. Pakistan ended up getting knocked out of the World Cup Qualifiers on an aggregate score of 3–1.

Style of play[edit]

Khan's role can be described as an attacking all-rounder, a player able to play in a variety of forward positions. As he came through the youth system, he was seen primarily as a midfielder, but since breaking into the first-team he has been used in more forward roles. Both Dordoi Bishkek and the Pakistan national team usually play a 4-2-3-1 formation, and Khan is most often part of the three attacking midfield behind the central striker. He can play in any of the attacking midfield roles but usually plays in the centre for Dordoi Bishkek and on the right or left for Pakistan. He has been used as an out-and-out striker on occasion.

Khan has been praised for his maturity, pace, technique, awareness and positioning. He has been compared with Lionel Messi due to his goal scoring record by the local media in Pakistan.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Khan was born in Chaman, Balochistan and is a graduate of Government High School Chaman.[2] He is the cousin of former Pakistan national team captain and highest goal-scorer Muhammad Essa Khan.[2] Khan became the first Pakistani footballer to sign for an international football management agency, KoraStars Sports Agency, in 2015.[27]

Career statistics[edit]


As of 27 December 2016
Club performance League Cup Continental Other Total Ref.
Club League Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Pakistan League Challenge Cup Asia1 Other2 Total
Khan Research Laboratories Pakistan Premier League 2009  — 3  — 1  —  — 4 [28]
2010  — 8  — 1 3 2  — 11 [29]
2011  — 12  — 1  —  — 13 [30]
2012  — 31 6 0 3 0  — 31 [31]
2013  — 18 4 8 6 7  — 33 [32]
Total 94 72  — 11 12 9  — 134 92  —
Kyrgyzstan League Kyrgyzstan Cup Asia1 Other2 Total
Dordoi Bishkek Shoro Top League 2014 17 18 3 3 0 0 1 0 21 21 [5]
2015 5 2 0 0 1 0 3 0 9 2 [5]
Total 22 20 3 3 1 0 4 0 30 23  —
United States League US Open Cup North America1 Other2 Total
Sacramento Republic United Soccer League 2015 7 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 9 0
Tulsa Roughnecks United Soccer League 2016 23 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 24 1
2017 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 30 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 33 1  —
Pakistan League Challenge Cup Asia1 Other2 Total
K-Electric Pakistan Premier League 2017  —  —  —  3  3 3 3 [33]
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  —
Career total 147 93 27 14 13 9 6 0 197 116  —


As of 24 March 2015[34]
National team Year Apps Goals
Pakistan 2011 9 0
2012 1 0
2013 13 3
2014 1 1
2015 2 0
Total 26 4

International goals[edit]


Scores and results table list Pakistan's goal tally first.


Scores and results table list Pakistan's goal tally first.



Khan Research Laboratories[35]
Dordoi Bishkek




  • Pakistan Premier League Top Goalscorer: 2012 (31 goals)[37]
  • Pakistan Premier League Best Player: 2013
  • PFF Player of the Year: 2013
  • Kyrgyzstan League Top Goalscorer: 2014 (18 goals)[38]
  • Kyrgyzstan Football League Best Player: 2014
  • First Pakistani football player to be a top scorer for any foreign league outside Pakistan.
  • First Pakistan home grown player to play Professional Football in America.


  • Record for most Pakistan Premier League goals in a 30-game season: 31 goals
  • Record for most hat-tricks scored in the Pakistan Premier League in one season: 7 (2012)
  • Record for most goals scored by a Pakistani footballer in Asian competitions (club football): 9 goals
  • Dordoi Bishkek Record Goalscorer: 18 goals (5th in Ranking)[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kaleemullah Khan at National-Football-Teams.com
  2. ^ a b c d e "KRL's 'Messi' sets sights on further glory". Dawn News. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Kaleem Ullah". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ PPL Table 2012 season, Retrieved on 25 March 2015
  5. ^ a b c d e Калимулла – в ТОП-5 бомбардиров «Дордоя» за всю историю (in Russian). FC Dordoi Bishkek. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Pakistan vs Macau Report
  7. ^ PPL League Table 2009 season, Retrieved on March 24, 2015
  8. ^ "Schedule and Results, 2013 AFC President's Cup" The-AFC.com. Retrieved July 12th 2013.
  9. ^ "Match summary." The-AFC.com.
  10. ^ "Top Goal Scorers (by Stage) – 2013 AFC President's Cup Group Stage". AFC.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "Top Goal Scorers (by Stage) – 2013 AFC President's Cup Final Stage". AFC.com. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. 
  12. ^ KRL aim for unprecedented PPFL hat-trick, Retrieved on March 28, 2015
  13. ^ Raheel, Natasha (29 June 2014). "Kaleemullah ‘satisfied’ with FC Dordoi progress". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 11 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Dordoy (Bishkek)". flk. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  15. ^ Natasha Raheel (15 July 2014). "Kaleemullah signs two-year contract with FC Dordoi". tribune.com.p. tribune. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  16. ^ "Kaleemulla luchshij igrok topligi po versii flk" (in Russian). fc-dordoi.kg. 21 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  17. ^ FC Ahal vs Dordoi Bishkek Match Report, Retrieved on 25 March 2015
  18. ^ After Kyrgyzstan, Kaleem approached by clubs in Iceland, China, Retrieved on 25 March 2015
  19. ^ Pakistani soccer star is trying out with Republic FC, Retrieved on 15 May 2015
  20. ^ "Экс-нападающий "Дордоя" Калимулла продолжит карьеру в США" (in Russian). fc-dordoi.kg. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Sacramento Republic FC Sign Forward Kaleemullah". Sacramento Republic. Retrieved 19 June 2015.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Sacramento_Republic" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  22. ^ Pakistan captain Kaleemullah inks deal with US football club, Retrieved on 21 June 2015
  23. ^ "US Soccer League: Kaleemullah makes successful 'dream' debut". Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "Roughnecks Sign Pakistani International". www.tulsaroughnecksfc.com. Tulsa Roughnecks FC. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  25. ^ Wasim, Umaid (18 December 2015). "Kaleem hopes Roughnecks move opens doors to MLS". DAWN Pakistan. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  26. ^ Wasim, Umaid (18 December 2015). "Kaleemullah signs for K-Electric on temporary basis". DAWN Pakistan. Retrieved 26 December 2016. 
  27. ^ KoraStars snaps up Pakistan international Kaleemullah Khan
  28. ^ "Khan, Kaleemullah". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  29. ^ "Stats 2010 season". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  30. ^ "Stats 2011 season". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  31. ^ "Stats 2012 season". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  32. ^ "Stats 2013 season". RSSSF. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  33. ^ "Khan, Kaleemullah". Dawn News. Retrieved 26 December 2016. 
  34. ^ "Kaleemullah Khan – National Football Teams". National Football Teams. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  35. ^ "K. Khan". Soccerway. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 
  36. ^ KRL become Pakistan football champion
  37. ^ "KRL again becomes the champion of 9th PPFL-2012". http://theolympicssports.com. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  38. ^ "Калимулла – лучший бомбардир ТОП-Лиги!" (in Russian). fc-dordoi.kg. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Zesh Rehman
Pakistan captain