Though cricket has always been treated as the national game of Pakistan, many players have made Pakistani fans proud in other sports as well. Although they will likely never make it to the list of the Premier League’s all-time greatest goalscorers, the list shared below shows 10 Pakistan football players who are or in the past were a force to be reckoned with and even made it outside of Pakistan.
Hassan Naweed Bashir is currently 33 years old and plays for Danish second Division East club BSV and, of course, the Pakistan national team. The player has spent most of his career in Denmark and has played much of it as a forward, but has been deployed in a variety of attacking roles – as an offensive midfielder, second striker and centre forward.
Yousuf Butt, 30 years old, is the first-choice goalkeeper for the Pakistan national football team. The goalkeeper was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, but chose to represent Pakistan instead of Denmark. He is known as “The Wall” of South Asia and has been praised for his unique playing style and is known for his quick reflexes, excellent shot-stopping abilities, command of his area and accurate distribution of the ball. Butt is currently playing for Greve Fodbold in the Danmarksserien, the Danish fourth division.
Atif Bashir also wasn’t born in Pakistan, but in West Berlin, West Germany. The 34-year old is currently not playing football anymore and finished his career in 2017 at Dinas Powys, a Welsh football club that plays in the Welsh Football League Division Two. Born to a German-Turkish mother and British-Pakistani father, Bashir was a defender who was equally comfortable playing as a right-back, in the center of the defense. The 17 times Pakistan international spent seven years at youth academies at professional clubs such as Hertha Berlin and Cardiff City.
Kaleemullah Khan was born in Chaman, Balochistan, Pakistan and currently plays in the Iraqi Premier League for Zakho FC and the Pakistan national team. Khan plays as a midfielder or forward and has been deployed in a variety of attacking roles – as an attacking midfielder, second striker, center forward and on either wing. He is known to be the first Pakistani player ever to have played and scored in the United States and also the first Pakistan-born player ever to play against an English Premier League team (Sunderland AFC).
Ahmed was born in Burnley and lived in Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Adnan Farooq Ahmed is a former Pakistan international footballer and is currently 35 years old. Starting his career at Huddersfield Town in 2003, after three years he transferred to Tranmere Rovers. After a two-year spell which included loans to Mansfield Town and Port Vale, he signed a contract with Hungarian club Ferencvárosi in 2009. A year later he moved to Iran to spend a brief period at Aboumoslem. He made 27 appearances for Pakistan and scored 9 goals in total.
Zesh Rehman was born in Birmingham, England and is currently 36 years old. He was the first British Asian to start a Premier League match and is the first to have played in all four divisions of professional football in England. He also plays for the Pakistan national football team and was the first Pakistani international footballer to play professional football in England. He started his career at Fulham and made a total of 30 appearances, having loan spells at Brighton & Hove Albion and Norwich City. He made 25 appearances as a Pakistan international, scoring 1 goal.