Itumeleng Khune Player Profile: Career Highlights and Achievements

Romwald
Romwald
20 Min Read

Itumeleng Khune is a South African professional soccer player who is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the country’s history. Born on June 20, 1987, in Ventersdorp, Khune began his soccer career at a young age and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the most respected players in the game. With his exceptional reflexes, agility, and leadership skills, he has become a key player for both the Kaizer Chiefs and the South African national team.

Khune’s early life and career were marked by hard work, dedication, and a fierce determination to succeed. He began playing soccer at the age of 12 and quickly caught the attention of scouts who recognized his potential. After joining the Kaizer Chiefs in 2004, he quickly established himself as one of the most promising young players in the game, and he has continued to impress fans and critics alike with his skill, passion, and commitment to the sport.

Today, Khune is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and his impressive record speaks for itself. With numerous awards and accolades to his name, he has become a role model and inspiration to countless young soccer players around the world. Whether he is playing for his club or his country, he always gives his all on the field, and his passion and dedication have made him a true legend of the game.

Key Takeaways

  • Itumeleng Khune is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in South African soccer history.
  • He began his career at a young age and quickly established himself as a key player for both the Kaizer Chiefs and the South African national team.
  • With his exceptional skills, passion, and dedication, Khune has become a role model and inspiration to countless young soccer players around the world.

 

Early Life and Career

Birth and Early Years

Itumeleng Khune was born on June 20th, 1987 in Tshing, Ventersdorp, South Africa. He grew up in a family of six children, born to Elias and Flora Khune. Itumeleng’s father was a football enthusiast and played an instrumental role in nurturing his son’s love for the sport.

Youth Career at Kaizer Chiefs

Itumeleng Khune began his football career as a youth player for Kaizer Chiefs Football Club. He joined the club’s development program in 1999 and quickly rose through the ranks to become the first-choice goalkeeper for the U17 and U20 teams.

In 2004, at the age of 17, Itumeleng Khune signed his first professional contract with Kaizer Chiefs. He made his debut for the senior team in 2007 and quickly established himself as one of the most promising young goalkeepers in South Africa.

Khune’s impressive performances for Kaizer Chiefs earned him a call-up to the South African national team in 2008. He made his debut in a friendly match against Paraguay and went on to become the first-choice goalkeeper for Bafana Bafana, as the national team is affectionately known.

Itumeleng Khune’s early career was characterized by his exceptional shot-stopping ability, quick reflexes, and excellent distribution skills. He quickly became a fan favorite at Kaizer Chiefs and was widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier Soccer League.

 

Professional Career

Debut and Early Achievements

Itumeleng Khune made his professional debut for Kaizer Chiefs in 2007 and quickly established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the South African Premier Soccer League. He was named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Season in his debut year and went on to win the award three more times in the following years.

Club Performance

Khune has spent his entire club career at Kaizer Chiefs, where he has won numerous trophies, including four league titles, two Nedbank Cups, and one Telkom Knockout Cup. He has also been named the club’s Player of the Season on multiple occasions.

International Appearances and Achievements

Khune has been a regular member of the South African national team since making his debut in 2008. He has represented his country at two FIFA World Cup tournaments and has also played in multiple Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. He was a key member of the South African team that won the tournament in 2010, where he was named the Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

Overall, Khune’s professional career has been marked by consistent excellence and numerous individual and team achievements. He is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in South African football history.

 

Playing Style and Position

Itumeleng Khune is a goalkeeper for Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League. He is known for his exceptional goalkeeping technique and positional play.

Goalkeeping Technique

Khune is an agile and acrobatic goalkeeper, with higher than normal diving skills. He has quick reflexes and is able to make impressive saves even when the ball is travelling at high speeds. His distribution skills are also noteworthy, as he is able to launch accurate long balls up the field to initiate counterattacks.

Khune’s shot-stopping ability is one of the key strengths of his game. He is particularly adept at making saves with his feet, a skill that has earned him the nickname “Spider-man”. He is also comfortable coming off his line to claim crosses and high balls.

Positional Play

Khune’s positional play is another strong aspect of his game. He is able to read the game well and position himself accordingly, which allows him to make crucial saves and interceptions. He is also a vocal presence on the field, constantly communicating with his defenders to ensure that they are in the right position.

Khune is comfortable playing as a sweeper-keeper, which allows him to act as an additional defender when necessary. He is also able to play out from the back, as he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and is able to make accurate passes to his teammates.

Overall, Khune’s combination of exceptional goalkeeping technique and strong positional play make him a valuable asset to Kaizer Chiefs and the South African national team.

 

Notable Matches and Performances

Memorable Club Matches

Itumeleng Khune has had numerous memorable performances for Kaizer Chiefs, including the 2013 Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates. In this match, Khune made a number of crucial saves to keep a clean sheet and help his team secure a 1-0 victory. His performance earned him the man of the match award and was widely praised by both fans and pundits alike.

Another notable performance came in the 2010/2011 season when Kaizer Chiefs faced Ajax Cape Town. Khune made a number of saves, including a penalty, to keep a clean sheet and help his team secure a 1-0 victory. His performance in this match was instrumental in Kaizer Chiefs winning the league title that season.

Significant International Games

Itumeleng Khune has also had a number of significant performances for the South African national team. One of his most notable performances came in the 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal against Brazil. In this match, Khune made a number of crucial saves to keep a clean sheet and help his team secure a 1-0 victory. His performance earned him the man of the match award and helped South Africa reach the final of the tournament.

Another significant performance came in the 2010 World Cup opening match against Mexico. Khune made a number of saves to keep a clean sheet and help his team secure a 1-1 draw. His performance in this match was widely praised and helped South Africa gain a valuable point in their quest to progress to the knockout stages of the tournament.

Overall, Itumeleng Khune has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in South African football history. His performances for both Kaizer Chiefs and the South African national team have earned him numerous accolades and the respect of fans and pundits alike.

 

Off the Field

Charity Work

Itumeleng Khune is known for his philanthropic work off the field. He has been involved in several charitable initiatives, including the Itumeleng Khune Foundation, which focuses on providing education and sports opportunities for underprivileged children in South Africa. The foundation has partnered with various organizations to help improve the lives of children, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Khune has also been involved in several other charitable initiatives, including the “Save a Life” campaign, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation. He has also been involved in campaigns to promote road safety and HIV/AIDS awareness.

Media Presence

Itumeleng Khune is a popular figure in South African media. He has been featured in various television commercials and has also appeared in several magazines and newspapers. He has been named as one of the most influential people in South Africa by various publications, including Forbes Africa.

Khune is also active on social media, with a large following on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. He often shares updates about his personal life and career, as well as promoting his charitable initiatives and interacting with fans.

 

Awards and Recognition

Individual Awards

Itumeleng Khune has received numerous individual awards throughout his career. In 2008, he was named the South African Goalkeeper of the Year and has won the award a record six times. He was also named the Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Season in 2007/08, 2012/13, and 2013/14.

In addition to these awards, Khune was named the Premier Soccer League Player of the Month twice in his career. He was also named the South African Football Association Player of the Year in 2013 and was included in the CAF Team of the Year in 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Team Honours

Khune has also been part of teams that have won numerous titles. He has won the Premier Soccer League title four times with Kaizer Chiefs, in the 2004/05, 2012/13, 2014/15, and 2014/16 seasons. He has also won the Nedbank Cup three times and the Telkom Knockout twice with the team.

Internationally, Khune has been part of the South African national team that won the 2008 Nelson Mandela Challenge and the 2016 COSAFA Cup. He was also part of the team that finished as runners-up in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Overall, Itumeleng Khune’s individual and team awards and honours are a testament to his skill and success as a goalkeeper.

 

Statistics and Records

Career Statistics

Itumeleng Khune has been a consistent performer throughout his career and has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in South Africa. He has played for Kaizer Chiefs since 2004 and has made over 350 appearances for the club across all competitions.

In the Premier Soccer League, Khune has played 316 matches and has kept 139 clean sheets. His save percentage in the league is an impressive 72.2%, and he has conceded an average of 0.79 goals per game.

Khune has also represented the South African national team on numerous occasions. He has played 91 matches for Bafana Bafana and has kept 42 clean sheets. His save percentage for the national team is 68.8%, and he has conceded an average of 1.05 goals per game.

Noteworthy Records

Khune has set several records during his career. In 2007, he became the first-choice goalkeeper for the South African national team at the age of 20, and he has remained a regular in the team ever since.

In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Khune played a crucial role in South Africa’s progress to the knockout stages. He kept a clean sheet in the opening match against Mexico and was named Man of the Match. In the second match against Uruguay, he made several crucial saves to keep the scoreline at 3-0, and was once again named Man of the Match.

Khune has won several individual awards during his career, including the Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Season award on four occasions. He was also named the South African Footballer of the Year in 2013 and has been included in the PSL Team of the Season on multiple occasions.

Overall, Itumeleng Khune’s career statistics and records speak to his skill and consistency as a goalkeeper.

 

Personal Life

Itumeleng Khune was born on June 20, 1987, in Tshing, Ventersdorp, South Africa. He grew up in a large family with four siblings. His father, Elias Khune, passed away when he was still young, and his mother, Flora Khune, raised him and his siblings on her own.

Khune is known for being a private person, and not much is known about his personal life. However, it is known that he is married to Sphelele Makhunga, a popular South African model. The couple got married on November 16, 2019, and they have a daughter named Amogelang Zanande.

In his free time, Khune enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is also an avid fan of cricket and enjoys playing the sport whenever he can.

Overall, Khune’s personal life is relatively low-key, and he prefers to keep his private life out of the public eye.

 

Future Prospects

Itumeleng Khune has been a key player for Kaizer Chiefs for over a decade and has enjoyed a successful career with the club. As of May 2024, his contract with the club is set to expire on June 30, 2024 (Transfermarkt).

There has been much speculation about Khune’s future with the club, with some reports suggesting that he may be offered a new contract, while others suggest that he may be considering a move to another club. Kaizer Chiefs have reportedly given Khune two options regarding his future with the club (The South African).

Khune has been a fan favorite for many years and has been instrumental in the team’s success, but he has faced some challenges in recent years, including injuries and disciplinary issues (Far Post). However, he remains a talented and experienced goalkeeper who could still make a valuable contribution to the team.

It remains to be seen what Khune’s future holds, but regardless of whether he stays with Kaizer Chiefs or moves to another club, his legacy as one of South Africa’s greatest goalkeepers is secure (Wikipedia).

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Itumeleng Khune currently married to?

Itumeleng Khune is married to Sphelele Makhunga. The couple got married in a traditional wedding ceremony in 2019. They have been together for several years and have a daughter together.

Which club does Itumeleng Khune play for?

Itumeleng Khune is a goalkeeper for Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League. He has been with the club since 2004 and has become one of the most iconic players in their history.

What is the meaning behind the name Itumeleng?

Itumeleng is a Setswana name that means “joy” or “happiness”. It is a popular name in South Africa and is often given to children who are believed to bring joy to their families.

What is the latest news regarding Itumeleng Khune’s career?

As of May 2024, Itumeleng Khune is still playing for Kaizer Chiefs and remains one of the top goalkeepers in South Africa. He has won numerous awards and accolades throughout his career and continues to be a fan favorite.

How many international caps does Itumeleng Khune have with Bafana Bafana?

Itumeleng Khune has made over 90 appearances for the South African national team, also known as Bafana Bafana. He has been a key player for the team for many years and has helped them achieve some notable victories.

How many children does Itumeleng Khune have?

Itumeleng Khune has one child, a daughter, with his wife Sphelele Makhunga. The couple has been together for several years and is known for their strong relationship both on and off the field.

 

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