Itumeleng Khune-Player Profile 2024 & Career

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Player Profile
NameItumeleng Khune
NationalitySouth Africa
Date of Birth20th June 1987
ClubKaizer Chiefs
PositionGoalkeeper
Itumeleng Khune

History of Itumeleng Khune

Itumeleng Khune was born 20th June 1987 in Tshing, Ventorsdorp. This is an area that is located in the North West of South Africa. He is among six children born of Elias and Flora Khune.

Itumeleng draws much of his footballing inspiration from his father. Surprisingly, Itumeleng did not start his career like many other players who played street football. In his early stages as a teenager, he loved watching cricket.

The need to sustain his family caused Itumeleng to pursue a football career. He was also influenced by the talent and love of football among his parents and siblings. One of his younger brothers played for the Chiefs then, although he now represents Chippa United.

Khune was invited for trials in 1999 by the Chiefs. He wanted to be a striker, but during the process, he fell ill. He was relegated to being a ball boy but used the opportunity to practice driving while picking balls.

While he was not among the best soccer players in South Africa, he had other strongholds. He impressed the then Chiefs coach, Terror Sephoa, who later moved him into a goalkeeper and enrolled him in the first team.

Over time, Itumeleng realized that he had exceptional reflexes in goalkeeping, prompting him to follow this route. Some teammates nicknamed him ‘Spider-Man’ because of his flexibility.

Itumeleng Khune In South Africa

After joining Chiefs as a junior in 1999, Itumeleng struggled to make an impact. He suffered some chest problems, although he recovered later. His career blossomed in the 2007-08 season when Rowen Fernandez, the first Chiefs goalkeeper, moved to a German club.

At that time, Muhsin Ertugal was the head coach. He placed Itumeleng as the number one goalkeeper ahead of Emile Baron, who was constantly out with injury.

The 25th of August, 2007, marked an important day in Itumeleng’s career when he was fielded against Jomo Cosmos in his PSL debut.

During the first season at Chiefs, Itumeleng was outstanding, helping his team achieve the best defensive record in the top flight.

His match performances also earned him individual awards that season. Chiefs won the MTN 8 trophy in the second season, but it was not the best performance for Itumeleng, who struggled to maintain his form.

He injured his finger in the 2009-10 season and was sidelined for three months.

In 2011, Itumeleng worked his way up by rediscovering his form. He also became the captain of the Chiefs. Under his stewardship, the team achieved an incredible feat in the 2012-13 season.

On an individual level, he was listed among the 2013 best players voted into Goal.com’s Goal50. He has ranked ahead of world-class players like Frank Lampard, Robbie Keane, and Fernandinho.

In 2014, the Chiefs played against Mpumalanga Black aces, and this game marked the 200th appearance for Itumeleng Khune. In the same year when the season ended, he was named Goalkeeper of the year for the second time in a row.

As a result, he attracted interest from Hannover 96, a Bundesliga club, but he was diagnosed with a Grade 3 stress fracture which subsequently denied him his place in the 2015 African Cup of Nations.

Itumeleng Khune International Career

In 2008, Coach Joel Santana selected Khune for the African Cup of Nations, although he did not field him because he was concerned about his experience.

After making his international debut against Zimbabwe, coach Santana trusted him as the number one goalkeeper, with Itumeleng’s major assignment being the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

In 2010, South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup, and Khune was picked as the first-choice goalkeeper for the national team. In the first game against Mexico, he made magnificent saves to inspire his country and continent.

Khune was also selected for the 2013 African Cup of Nations, where he kept a couple of clean sheets, including a 0-0 draw with Cape Verde and a 2-0 victory against Angola.

His national profile was also raised when he was picked in 2013 as captain of the Bafana Bafana team, representing South Africa in the 2014 CHAN.

During the 2016 Summer Olympics, Khune featured as one of the overage players with 75 national caps to his name. Despite this status, he managed to pull magnificent saves against Brazil’s great players like Neymar.

Itumeleng Khune Teams
TeamPeriod
Kaizer Chiefs (Youth Career)1999-2004
Kaizer Chiefs (Senior Career)2004-
South Africa National Team2008
South Africa Olympic2016

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Frequently Asked Questions About Itumeleng Khune

Which team is Itumeleng Khune playing for?

Itumeleng Khune plays for Kaizer Chiefs and the South African national team.

How much is Itumeleng Khune worth?

Khune’s net worth is $4 million.

What position is Itumeleng Khune?

Khune plays as a goalkeeper.

How old is Itumeleng Khune?

Itumeleng Khune is 34 years old.

Is Itumeleng Khune a left or right footer? 

Khune is a right-footer.

Where was Itumeleng Khune born?

He was born in Ventersdorp, South Africa.

What is Itumeleng Khune’s South Africa jersey number?

The jersey number is #32.

How long has Khune been at Kaizer?

Itumeleng Khune has been at Kaizer Chiefs since 2004, a total of 18 years.

18+ | Play responsibly | Terms and Conditions apply | Commercial Content