Born in Chaman, Balochistan, Kaleemullah Khan is a footballer who plays as a midfielder or forward for Pakistan national team and Sacramento Republic. He plays in a variety of attacking roles and has been praised for his
Born in Chaman, Balochistan, Kaleemullah Khan is a footballer who plays as a midfielder or forward for Pakistan national team and Sacramento Republic. He plays in a variety of attacking roles and has been praised for his consistency in scoring and creating goals, maturity, pace, stamina, technique, awareness and positioning. He has been compared with Lionel Messi due to his goal scoring record by the local media in Pakistan.
Kaleemullah is a product of Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) youth academy, who made his first-team breakthrough in the 2009 season. He 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.
He 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. He also won the Challenge Cup with KRL (1–0) against rivals K-Electric in 2011.
During 2012 season, he became involved in the first-team and 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 following season, finishing runners-up in the competition losing (1–0) to Turkmenistan's Balkan. Kaleemullah finished as the second top goal scorer of the continental cup.
He 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, Kaleemullah won his fourth and last league title with the Rawalpindi side. 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.
Kaleemullah signed for FC Dordoi Bishkek in 2014, after his performances in AFC President's Cup 2013 on an initial five-month contract, wearing the Number 9 shirt. After impressing during this five-month stint, he extended his contract by signing a new two-year contract with Dordoi in July 2014.
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. Kaleemullah'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. In total, Kaleemullah finished with 21 goals in 21 matches in the 2014 season for his new club in all competitions.
Kaleemullah made his AFC Cup debut on 9 February 2015 in a 1–0 defeat against Turkmenistan side Ahal in the preliminary round. In May, he went on trial with United Soccer League side Sacramento Republic for their 2015 season campaign. On 18 June 2015, Kaleemullah signed with the Sacramento Republic of the USL, the third tier of the United States soccer league system on a four month contract, believed to be the first Pakistani-born player to sign a contract with a professional soccer club in the United States.
He made his debut for the club on 20 June 2015, two days after signing, entering the match as a 66th minute substitute. The Republic won that match 2-1. 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.