COMMENT: Khune is the only South African player to have been named in the Goal50, coming in at number 45 for 2012-2013, but did anyone emulate him last season?
By Ernest Makhaya
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune made history last year by becoming the first South African player to make the list, following a successful season with AmaKhosi.
They clinched two major titles - the PSL title and the Nedbank Cup - before the keeper swept all the major awards at the annual PSL function in May last year.
Among other awards, Khune was named Footballer of the Year, Players' Player of the Season and Goalkeeper of the Season for his outstanding performances throughout the 2012/13 campaign.
He was named at number 45 in the world for the Goal50, however, during last season he suffered an injury midway through and missed important games for Chiefs and Bafana Bafana.
Despite the setback, Khune went on to be crowned Goalkeeper of the Season for the second year running ahead of other goalkeepers who played more games than him. It was the quality that he displayed in them, that still placed him above the rest.
Should he retain his spot in this year's Goal50 ahead of his big rival, in terms of personal achievement last season, Senzo Meyiwa? Only time will tell.
Meyiwa had an amazing year with Orlando Pirates, especially in the Caf Champions League where he was key to the Soweto giants reaching the finals for the first time in 18 years.
At a point last season, the 27-year-old shot-stopper looked out of favour and came under a lot of criticism from the Bucs fans and had no chance of possibly matching Khune's Goal50 achievement.
However, he forced his way back and proved that he's one of the best goalkeepers this country has ever had. His heroics against TP Mazembe, where he stopped two crucial penalties to see Pirates through to the group stages, remain the highlight of his career for the majority of football fans in SA.
Meyiwa was also instrumental as the Buccaneers made it to three domestic finals, winning one - the Nedbank Cup - on the last day of the season.
He felt hard-done for not being nominated in any of the categories at the end of the season, despite a gruelling season that saw him play more than 50 official games.
Perhaps his lack of game time in the national team would be of disadvantage to his chance of making the list. Meyiwa continues to play second fiddle to captain Khune.
Despite this he showed that he's quality and can withstand pressure at international level during Bafana's tour Down Under in May, and his fans felt it was time for national team coaches to give him a fair chance.
Mind you, Meyiwa put Ghana's number one Fatau Dauda on the bench at club level, but could all this be enough for him to make the list of the 50 best players worldwide?