Itumeleng Khune

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Itumeleng Khune
Khune.JPG
Khune with South Africa in 2013
Personal information
Full name Itumeleng Isaac Khune
Date of birth (1987-06-20) 20 June 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth Ventersdorp, South Africa
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Kaizer Chiefs
Number 32
Youth career
1999–2004 Kaizer Chiefs
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004– Kaizer Chiefs 166 (0)
National team
2008– South Africa 62 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 May 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 June 2013

Itumeleng Isaac Khune (born 20 June 1987) is a South African professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League, as well as the South African national team, both of which he is captain.

Khune is known for his quick reflexes and his distribution which has been hailed as "the best you will see anywhere" by former Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld.[1]

Early and personal life[edit]

Khune was born in Tshing near Ventersdorp in the North West as one of six children of Elias and Flora Khune. His father Elias, worked as a driver at a mine in Carletonville and also played amateur football as a striker.[2] Unlike many South African players who cite kicking a football on their hometown's dusty streets as their starting point, Khune was in love with 2cricket idolising Nicky Boje. He eventually decided to pursue a career in football to earn a living for him and his family. He attended New Nation, Westridge, St Barnabas and RW Fick High Schools.

His younger brother Lucky Khune previously played as a striker for Chiefs and currently for PSL side chippa united

Club career[edit]

Khune started out as a defender when he arrived for trials at Chiefs in 1999, but assumed the gloves by chance after he experienced chest problems during a junior game and found himself being reduced to a ball boy. Diving for balls that had missed the target he caught the attention of youth coach Terror Sephoa who converted him to a goalkeeper. In 2004 he was promoted to the first team.

After three years of waiting to get any game time, Khune finally got his opportunity in the early stages of the 2007–08 season after the departure of number one goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez to German club Arminia Bielefeld. With the experienced Emile Baron often plagued by injuries, Khune was made number one by then Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral. He made his PSL debut against Jomo Cosmos on 25 August 2007. His first season in the top-flight was highly successful as several match-winning displays for his side earned him a host of individual awards with Chiefs having the best defensive record in the league conceding only 19 goals in 30 games.

In his second season he often struggled to regain the form and consistency of the previous season even though Chiefs managed to finish third in the standings and win the MTN 8.

During the 2009–10 season a finger injury sidelined Khune for three months giving understudy Arthur Bartman a chance to play regularly in his absence.

In October 2011, Khune was assigned as captain replacing Jimmy Tau. The 2012-13 season was arguably his best with Khune leading his side to a league and cup double.[3] He was also voted into Goal.com's Goal50 which is a list of the best players of 2013. He was ranked 45th ahead of Fernandinho, Robbie Keane and Frank Lampard and behind Andrea Pirlo, Roman Weidenfeller, Victor Wanyama and James Rodríguez who were all ranked from 40 to 50.[4] He made his 200th appearance for Chiefs against Mpumalanga Black Aces in 2014. Prior to that match he had 91 clean sheets in 199 games and at the beginning of the season he had played 172 games for Chiefs.[5] In the 2013–14 season he won the Goalkeeper of the Year award for the second time in a row with 15 goals conceded and 18 clean sheets in 25 starts beating Moeneeb Josephs and Anssi Jakkola.[6] Around July 2014 he was linked to a move to Bundesliga club Hannover 96.[7]

International career[edit]

He was part of Bafana Bafana's 2008 African Nations Cup squad but was not fielded until he made his international debut against Zimbabwe on 11 March 2008. He had since become the preferred choice in goal by then coach Joel Santana.

Khune was the first-choice goalkeeper in South Africa's squad at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. He saved a penalty against Spanish star David Villa in the group stages.

Khune was selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup as Carlos Alberto Parreira's first-choice goalkeeper and made some good saves in the opening match against Mexico. However on 16 June 2010 he was sent off against Uruguay when he appeared to have tripped a theatrical Luis Suárez inside the penalty area in the 77th minute. He became the second goalkeeper to be sent off in the history of the FIFA World Cup, joining Gianluca Pagliuca who saw red in 1994.[8] Khune subsequently missed South Africa's final group game against France, where Moeneeb Josephs deputised as Bafana Bafana won 2–1 to restore some pride as they became the first host nation to exit the tournament at the opening stage. After the World Cup he regained his number one spot in the team and he has kept three consecutive clean sheets on international level. Khune was assigned as captain in May 2013.[9]

Outside football[edit]

Khune donated R150 000 to an Old Age Home in his hometown of Ventersdorp, North West. He was accompanied by Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, George Lebese and George Maluleka.[10]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Kaizer Chiefs

soccer laduma

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]