Khune with South Africa in 2013
|Full name||Itumeleng Isaack Khune|
|Date of birth||20 June 1987|
|Place of birth||Ventersdorp, South Africa|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Current club||Kaizer Chiefs|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 June 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Itumeleng Khune (born 20 June 1987) is a South African footballer. He currently 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.
Early and personal life
Khune hails from Tshing near Ventersdorp in the North West. He grew up in a family of six in which his father Elias, a mineworker in one of Ventersdorp’s mines, was the sole breadwinner. 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 cricket idolising Nicky Boje. He eventually decided to pursue a career in football to earn a living for him and his family.
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, Itumeleng 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.
The 2012-13 season was arguably his best with Khune leading his side to a league and cup double.
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 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 tripped 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. 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.
- Kaizer Chiefs
- Premier Soccer League (2): 2004–05, 2012–13
- ABSA Cup/Nedbank Cup (2): 2006, 2013
- Coca-Cola Cup/Telkom Knockout (4): 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010
- SAA Supa 8/MTN 8 (2): 2006, 2013
- PSL Footballer of the Year 2012–13
- PSL Players' Player of the Season 2007–08, 2012–13
- PSL Club Rookie of the Year 2007–08
- SA Sports Awards Sportsman of the Year 2013
- SA Sports Awards Newcomer of the Year 2008
- Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament 2007
- Telkom Knockout Goalkeeper of the Tournament 2007
- Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Season 2007–08, 2012–13
- Kaizer Chiefs Player of the Season 2007–08, 2012-13
- Kaizer Chiefs Player's Player of the Season 2007–08, 2012-13
- Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament 2013