Itumeleng Khune is a South African footballer and goalkeeper for both the South African National Team and the Kaizer Chiefs club in South Africa.
He has also served as captain of the two.
Itumeleng Khune has been a fixture in the media spotlight for years now especially his relationship with Minnie Dlamini drawing attention to his personal life.
He gained national attention in December 2007 when he saved three penalties from Peter Ndlovu and Esrom Nyandoro during the Telkom Knockout Final against the Mamelodi Sundowns.
Itumeleng has played for the Chiefs since 1999 to 2004.
The goalkeeper who is 5ft and 11 inches tall, first played for South African’s under-20 team from 2003 to 2005. Then he played for South Africa’s national under-23 team from 2005 to 2007. And now he plays for national men’s team, which he has since 2008.
And now he plays for national men’s team, which he has since 2008.
Itumeleng Isaac Khune was born on the 20th of June 1987 in Tshing in Ventersdorp which is in South Africa’s North West Province.
Itumeleng had five other siblings. His father, who was a driver at a mine, was also an amateur football player.
Itumeleng’s first love was cricket, he has even cited Nicky Moje as his childhood idol. Eventually, Khune chose to pursue a career in football over cricket in order to be able to earn for his family.
His younger brother – Lucky Khune – also played football professionally, even playing for the Chiefs as well.
For his education, Itumeleng attended Westridge, St Barnabas, New Nation and RW Fick High schools.
Itumeleng began his career in 1999 as a defender at Chiefs.
When he arrived for trials, he experienced chest problems and was assigned to become a ball boy instead of a player. His diving for the balls caught the attention of Terror Sephoa, the youth coach, who then converted him a goalkeeper.
In 2004, he was then assigned to his first team.
However, Itumeleng Khune didn’t get any game time for three years.
It was in the 2007/2008 season that he got his opportunity after Rowen Fernandez, the then goalkeeper, left to Arminia Bielefeld – the German club.
Khune was then promoted to number one goalkeeper by Mushin Ertugal, the Chiefs’ coach.
He debuted on the 25th August 2007 against the Jomo Cosmos.
His debut season was met with critical acclaim, putting him on the map and even permitting him to garner some awards.
However, his second season did not fare as well as the first with Itumeleng struggling to maintain the consistency and drive from the initial season.
He was sidelined for much of his third season due to an injury. This allowed Arthur Bartman a chance to play in the game due to Itumeleng’s absence.
In 2011, Itumeleng Khune was selected to replace Jimmy Tau as captain.
It can be argued that Ituemeleng’s best season was the 2012/2013 season. Not only did he bring his ‘A-game’ he also led his team to a cup and league double.
Unfortunately, he had a stress fracture in 2014 which cost him a spot at the 2015 African Cup of Nations.
He was able to play again by February 2015, thankfully.
This was just one of the various injuries Khune has acquired during his time on the field.
Being one of South Africa’s most influential football players in today’s time, it should be no surprise that his salary is something of a curiosity to football fans.
As of 2015, he was paid approximately $33,000 (R325,000) a month. Which makes his annual salary at almost $400,000 and his net worth as of 2015, at almost $2,5 million.
Below is a list of just some of the awards Itumeleng Khune has won during his career as one of South Africa’s favorite goalkeepers.
2007: Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament
2007: Telkom Knockout Goalkeeper of the Tournament
2007/2008: Kaizer Chiefs Player of the Season
2007/2008: Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Season
2007/2008: Kaizer Chiefs Player’s Player of the Season
2007/2008: PSL Player’s Player of the Season
2007/2008: PSL Club Rookie of The Year
2008: SA Sports Awards Newcomer of the Year 2008
2012/2013: PSL Player’s Player of the Season
2012/2013: PSL Footballer of the Year
2012/2013: Kaizer Chiefs Player of the Season
2012/2013: Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Season
2012/2013: Kaizer Chiefs Player’s Player of the Season
2013: SA Sports Awards Sportsman of the
2013: Nedbank Cup Player of the Tournament
2013/2014: Premier Soccer League Goalkeeper of the Season.