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The 26-year-old became the first South African footballer to ever make it in Goal’s 50 best players in the world after a successful season with AmaKhosi

EXCLUSIVE

By Ernest Makhaya

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has showered Itumeleng Khune with praises following his inclusion in Goal 50 for the 2012/2013 football season.

Khune finished 45th on the list of Goal’s 50 best players, hence becoming the first South African footballer to ever break into the top 50.

“I said to him this morning (Wednesday), before training that I heard he’s been chosen in the top 50 players in the world and the guys gave him a round of applause, then I said to him we are proud.

Read more on: Khune named in the top 50 best players

“Of course it is big for him and the club. I think his teammates have a share in his nomination, and I also think it’s good for South Africa,” Baxter told Goal.

Baxter was hugely criticized for hailing Khune as the best goalkeeper on the continent towards the end of last season after he helped Chiefs to a 1-0 win over Bloem Celtic, and the 58-year-old Baxter says that hasn’t changed.

“I still think he is the best on the continent and if he is better than that, then we will have to know when he plays outside of Africa, and I think that will happen if he continues to be dedicated and not affected by all the nice things said about him.”

Read more on: Khune motivated by Goal 50 place

“If he retains his hunger then I am sure that in future he will play outside the continent,” added Baxter.

The AmaKhosi mentor believes that Khune is ready to face tougher challenges in Europe, and he also believes that there are European managers who would like to have goalkeepers of Khune’s calibre.

“I think Europe is a definite marquee for him. He is consistent and certainly a European manager will want to have him in their team,” concluded Baxter.

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