Itumeleng Khune: Celebrating Kaizer Chiefs legend's greatest achievements

Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2021Backpagepix
  • Itumeleng Khunebackpagepix

    Happy Birthday Itumeleng Khune

    The Kaizer Chiefs great celebrated another year on the planet on Monday when he turned 35.

    It’s still not too old by goalkeeping terms, although it appears fair to say that Khune’s best days may be behind him in light of a difficult 18 months with Amakhosi.

    In this feature, we look back over some of the highlights of his career, and celebrate some of the moments that made him one of South Africa’s finest keepers.

  • Itumeleng Khune PSL Awards May 2015

    PSL success

    Khune has won over a dozen trophies during his time with Chiefs, but surely his trio of PSL titles stand above the rest.

    The Ventersdorp-born star was just a benchwarmer when Chiefs defended their league title during the 2004/05 under the tutelage of the late Ted Dumitru. However, he was instrumental when Chiefs won the two league titles in 2013 and 2015 with Stuart Baxter leading the technical team.

  • Itumeleng Khune Warriorsbackpagepix

    Further glories with Chiefs

    Beyond the trio of league successes, Khune has also won two Nedbank Cups during his time with his beloved Chiefs.

    The first victory came in 2006—when Chiefs defeated eternal rivals Orlando Pirates at the King’s Park Stadium—before subsequent successes in 2013 and 2014.

    He’s also won the Telkom Knockout and the MTN8 on multiple occasions, although some may argue that Khune ought to have won more silverware with Amakhosi.

  • Itumeleng Khune, Warriors, January 2022Backpagepix

    Individual honours in 2007

    During the early days of his career, Khune was regularly recognised with individual honours.

    In 2007, for example, he was named Telkom Knockout Cup Goalkeeper of the Season and Player of the Season as he won the title for a second time.

    A year later, he won the Newcomer of the Year award at the South African Sports awards, and became only the second goalkeeper—after Moeneeb Josephs—to win the PSL Players’ Player of the Season award.

  • Teko ModiseGallo

    Further recognition.

    After winning the PSL Players’ POTS award in 2008, Khune clinched it for a second time five years later following the 2012-13 season.

    In picking up the award a second time, Khune became the first goalkeeper to win it twice, and followed in the footsteps of Teko Modise and Siyabonga Nomvethe to win it twice.

    In that same year, Khune was named in the GOAL50, demonstrating the recognition he was receiving not just in South Africa but beyond.

  • Itumeleng Khune Bafana BafanaBackpagepix

    International experiences

    Khune made his Bafana Bafana debut in 2008, and a year later, impressed at the 2009 Confederations Cup when he saved a penalty from Spain’s David Villa.

    Unfortunately, the World Cup on home soil a year later was testing, with Khune playing in the draw with Mexico and the defeat by Uruguay, only to be dismissed in the second game and suspended for the victory over France.

    In recent years, injury problems have limited the keeper’s ability to make a consistent impact for the national side, although with 91 caps, he’s behind only Aaron Mokoena in the all-time Bafana appearance list.