Striker Kaleemullah Khan has already made history, becoming the first Pakistani football to sign for a professional football club in the United States.
Now he says it is a dream come true to have the chance of lining up against one of the ‘top clubs in the world’…Newcastle United.
Kaleemullah has signed a four month contract at third tier Sacramento Republic who play Newcastle in a friendly on 18 July.
Nice that somebody still talks about Newcastle United in this way, especially considering Sacramento meet Sunderland four days earlier and yet the Pakistani international striker doesn’t give them a mention…
Speaking to The Express Tribune, which is an English language newspaper in Pakistan, Kaleemullah Khan had this to say:
“This feels like the biggest match of my club career. It is something that I feel I have been working so hard for and to finally be able to play against a top club in the world is just amazing.
“As a Pakistani, I can’t explain how important it is for me, all I have been doing is preparing for the match.”
Making his mark against Newcastle:
“I want to know how these players utilise their 90 minutes in the matches, what kind of training and exercises they do, how they work on their game and what kind of concentration they need.
“Basically, I am going to be researching a lot on my own and hopefully I’ll make a mark against Newcastle.”
Kaleemullah has 25 caps for the Pakistan national team and began his club career at the quirkily named ‘Khan Research Laboratories youth academy’.
The striker moved on to FC Dordoi Bishkek in 2014 and scored 21 goals in 21 appearances, helping his club to win a league and cups treble.
Kaleemullah Khan made his debut for Sacramento as a substitute last Saturday, as he continues to live the dream.
Newcastle play the first of seven pre season friendlies in only 15 days time against Gateshead, before flying off for three matches in America, beginning with a game against FC Atlas of Mexico (game played in Milwaukee) on 14 July, 19 days from now.