Itumeleng Khune Biography: Age, Family, Education, Wife, Career, Awards & Honours, Controversy, Brand Endorsements, Net Worth

Award-winning South Africa's goalkeeper considered the best in SADC.

By  | May 21, 2020, 10:30 AM

Itumeleng Khune is a former goalkeeper for South Africa and has served as a goalkeeper for Kaizer Chiefs since 2008.

Throughout his career, he has earned the right to be called the best goalkeeper in the country and is rated in the top 10 by FIFA.

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Here's Itumeleng Khune's bio and how he became so famous by dribbling the ball. 

Itumeleng Khune Age


Itumeleng Khune was born on the 20th of June in 1987. He is 32-years-old. 

Itumeleng Khune Family


Itumeleng Khune was born in Tshing, Ventersdorp in the North West. He was raised by both his mother Flora Khune and his father Elias khune. His father Elias, worked at a mine in Carletonville and also played amateur football as a striker.

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Growing up, unlike the other boys in the township, Itumeleng Khune's first love was with cricket and he idolised Nicky Boje. 

Football became his favourite after watching his father on the field many times. 

His younger brother Lucky Khune was a striker for Kaizer Chiefs and currently plays for PSL Chippa United.

Itumeleng Khune Education


He attended New Nation, Westridge, St Barnabas and RW Fick High Schools. Khune joined the Kaizer Chiefs development program after finishing high school.

Itumeleng Khune Wife


Itumeleng Khune is married to his beautiful wife, Sphelele Makunga. They had their traditional wedding in 2019, November.

The couple had their baby girl in 2020.

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The couple welcomed their first child a week after celebrating their baby shower.

Now finally a father, the goalie could not hold back his excitement as he shared a picture of him holding his baby girl showing appreciation for the arrival of their bundle of joy, he captioned:

"Daddy Duties is an everyday thing ❤️❤️ #Blessed and most of all #GodIsGreat."

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Fans commended the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper for finally settling down especially after dominating headlines linking him to many women.

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Itumeleng Khune Career

Itumeleng Khune served his term on the national and international podium. He has over 300 appearances with Kaizer Chiefs and became captain of the club in 2011. 

He has over 75 appearances with Bafana Bafana where he served as a captain. 

Itumeleng Khune shot to fame when he saved three penalties from Esrom Nyandoro and Peter Ndlovu against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout final in 2007.

Kaizer Chiefs

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Itumeleng Khune started as a defender when he arrived for trials at Kaizer Chiefs in 1999 and after a short while, he became a ball boy due to his chest problems. 

It wasn’t long until he caught the eye of  Terror Sephoa who converted him to a goalkeeper. 

In 2004, Itumeleng Khune was moved to the first team as the second preferred goalkeeper.

While training and waiting for his first game, Itumeleng Khune waited for three years until the 2007-2008 season when he had his first opportunity after Rowen Fernandez left the club for the German Club, Arminia Bielefeld. he was made the first goalkeeper and this is when he made his debut in the Premier Soccer League in 2007.

Itumeleng Khune won the seasons defensive player of the year award after a record of only 19 goals in 30 games.

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The goalkeeper was assigned as Captain of the team in 2011 replacing Jimmy Tau.

Itumeleng Khune had a game-changing season in 2012-13 when they won the league and two cup competitions. Khune was also voted into Goal50 which was a list of the best players of 2013. 

Following his season impressive performance, Khune 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 between 40 to 50.

Itumeleng Khune made his 200th appearance for Chiefs against Mpumalanga Black Aces in 2014. Before that match, Khune had 91 clean sheets in 199 games.

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The goalkeeper worked throughout his career to be at the top of his game but his game, unfortunately, started declining due to constant injuries.

Bafana Bafana

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Itumeleng Khue joined the national team, Bafana Bafana in 2008 when they were heading for the African Nations Cup but he didn’t get a chance to play. 

He had his debut in March of 2008 when they played against Zimbabwe and then he became the preferred goalkeeper for the team. 

He remained the preferred goalkeeper and earned the trust after saving a penalty kick out by David Villa at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. Khune was selected for the 2010 FIFA World Cup as Carlos Alberto Parreira's first-choice goalkeeper.
 
Itumeleng Khune became the second goalkeeper to be sent off in the history of the FIFA World Cup, joining Gianluca Pagliuca who saw red in 1994. 

Itumeleng Khune only regained his number one spot after the world cup.

 
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Itumeleng Khune was then assigned as Bafana Bafana captain in 2013 replacing Bongani Khumalo. This was following Khune’s brilliant performance at the 2013 African Cup of Nations and he kept two clean sheets against Angola and Cape Verde.
 
In 2016, Itumeleng Khune was part of the squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics. He arrived at the tournament as the player with the most international experience, due to his caps and serving South Africa since 2008. 

Itumeleng Khune Awards & Honours


Itumeleng Khune has served throughout his career aiming for the championship each season. He has been awarded for his hard work and dedication for soccer. Khune has been awarded for his career when he played for Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs.

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Honours

2012,2013, 2014. 2015 - Premier Soccer League
  • 2006, 2013, 2014 - ABSA Cup/Nedbank Cup
  • 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010 - Coca-Cola Cup/Telkom Knockout
  • 2006, 2008, 2014, 2015 - SAA Supa 8/MTN 8

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Awards

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, 2012–13,2013–14
  • 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

Itumeleng Khune Controversy


Itumeleng Khune was sent off in the heated game against Amazulu after Kaizer Chiefs won the game 1 - 0 which was played at Peter Mokoba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo, in 2015. 

He was initially warned about time-wasting, but on the 82nd minute, Khune was sent off from the game.

Philip Tinyanen who was officiating the match initially booked Khune for time-wasting after warning him several times, on the last yellow card. Philip wasn’t hesitant to produce the second yellow card due to Khune not responding to his warning.

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Later after the game, Khune took to Twitter saying:

“@OfficialPSL I did nothing wrong. You guys need to take action against these poor referees. "It's about time action is taken against these referees by @OfficialPSL. They've been very poor since the beginning of the season. It's unfair how we are painted bad for our actions on the field but we are provoked by these referees, you can call me names but I stand for what is right”
 
The league issued a statement and afforded Itumeleng Khune five days to explain his comments. However, Khune did issue a public apology and retracted his statement. 

This led Khune to become reluctant to renew his contract with Kaizer Chiefs after it had expired. He didn’t sign immediately, but after a long period of negotiations and at the time of his return, he was the highest-paid footballer in South Africa earning R400 000 per month. 

Itumuleng Khune Philanthropy


Itumeleng Khune donated R150 000 to an old age home in his hometown of Ventersdorp, North West. He was accompanied by the Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, and his teammates George Lebese and George Maluleka.

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Itumeleng Khune Net Worth


Itumeleng Khune is a veteran soccer legend in South Africa. He served his club for over 20 years and a superstar for the national squad Bafana Bafana. 

His market value has also gone up since his impressive 2013/2014 season which peaked up his career. According to Soccer Laduma, the goalkeeper is reportedly worth around R21 million.

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He left a remarkable legacy in the football world and has worked hard for his name to be rated to be on the FIFA gaming top 10 goalkeeper.


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