By FPDC Staff
With much pomp and celebrations from both sides, Kaleemullah became the first Pakistani born player to play in the USL when he signed with Sacramento Republic in June.
And with his proven goal-scoring record in Kyrgyzstan’s Shoro Liga as well as Pakistan, it was expected that the striker would have showcased his best in the United States by now. However, that hasn’t been the case in what’s been termed as the biggest move for a home-grown Pakistani player so far.
Kaleem was always under immense pressure when he got the ball rolling abroad, but rather than prove his mettle on the pitch and live up to the expectations surrounding him, he has seemingly turned his attention to being featured on the media rather than perform.
In 5 appearances for Sacramento, he has flattered to deceive and what is most worrying is that he doesn’t have much time left. The Chaman-born star is on a four-month contract, whose extension depends on whether the coach has been sufficiently impressed by his abilities or not.
However, at the moment, even fans have questioned the player’s worth, who is claimed to be overhyped by the media in some quarters. The euphoria surrounding Kaleem’s move was prevalent throughout digital, electronic and print media circles in Pakistan, something which the player has taken to heart.
Constant updates on social media and posing for pictures has ardent fans questioning his ability and conviction to becoming a top footballer, who finally has the stage where he can showcase his talent for the entire globe to see.
But Kaleem isn’t doing that. What he is doing is wasting his potential by consistently seeking media attention rather than turning his focus to on-pitch displays that actually matter and becoming a huge disappointment to his team that got him the transfer in the first place. Therefore, unless, he starts scoring consistently in the next few weeks, he could seriously be looking at the end of his US adventure.
And failure to perform in the USL means that he won’t be signing for another club in the country and a future transfer to the hub of global football – Europe will most definitely not happen.
Yes, it’s not been easy for Kaleem either. He hasn’t got a starting role in most of the games he’s played and his last start came against Sunderland, where he did decently well. However, Kaleem is at a major cornerstone of his career. He can either make of the most of it and make his country proud, or he can settle for a fickle friend called fame.