Ball stopper stopped at nothing
Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs skipper Khune overcame health scares to keep his dream alive
scored that goal.
An appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympics and keeping a clean sheet against Neymar and home team Brazil in the tournament’s opening game is another major highlight.
“As a young boy I dreamt of playing one game for Bafana, I’ve now played 82 and will cherish every one for the rest of my life.
“I’ve now set a new target and want to get to 108 (record holder Aaron Mokoena has 107 caps). I still have a long way to go, I’ve not yet turned 30 and goalkeepers can often play until they’re 40,” Khune says.
Off the field, he’s set his sights on becoming an entrepreneur and is an avid property investor, preparing for the day “when the pay cheques stop”.
For all his properties, one of the country’s most eligible bachelors is still looking for the white picket fence life of a woman to share his life and home with.
“Football is my life and I have a large family to take care of. But yes I do feel I am under pressure now.
“Most of the guys I play with have kids and are married, but I want kids with someone I will spend the rest of my life with. Who will love me for who and not what I am.
“Someone who will add value to my life, not just benefit and then leave, as has happened before,” he says, without wishing to elaborate.
While he does meet “a lot of ladies” they’ve not been on the same wavelength and hence he’s not put a ring on it just yet.
For now though, he’s hoping for a ring of steel from his Bafana defence as they face old foes Nigeria away next Saturday in their opening 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with not-so-new coach Stuart Baxter back at the helm.
“We respect Nigeria, they’ve beaten us many times before and have big-name players. But it will be a different ball game this time round.
“I also believe our standard has improved, and we have players who will want to impress our coach. It will be difficult, but we are looking forward to the game. I enjoy and work well under pressure,” says Khune.
Against the Super Eagles, pressure is guaranteed, luckily Khune enjoys his kitchen hot.
Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune talks about his soccer career.