Itumeleng Khune: Kaizer Chiefs Veteran Goalkeeper Compares Himself to Ronaldo, Messi

Itumeleng Khune: Kaizer Chiefs Veteran Goalkeeper Compares Himself to Ronaldo, Messi

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at January 5, 2024 at 3:29 PM
In this article:
Itumeleng Khune logo
I. Khune
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C. Ronaldo
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  • Itumeleng Khune doesn't want to leave the game just yet
  • The Kaizer Chiefs veteran goalkeeper wants to keep playing
  • He compared his situation to icons Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Kaizer Chiefs' legendary goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has likened himself to iconic footballers Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Khune is currently suspended by his club for disciplinary reasons since early December 2023.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Itumeleng Khune, Lionel Messi, Kaizer Chiefs, Carling Black Label Cup, South Africa
Itumeleng Khune is already emulating Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Photos by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA, Itumeleng Khune, and Buda Mendes.
Source: Getty Images

The 36-year-old is one of the few one-club men in South Africa. The ex-Bafana Bafana goalkeeper has played for Amakhosi since the 2004/05 season.

Injuries and a sharp decline in form have limited him to a handful of performances in the last few seasons.

Chiefs announced before the start of the 2023/24 campaign that they had offered Khune his final one-year contract at the club and will probably hand him another role when it expires.

He was voted into the PSL All-Star XI set to clash with Stellenbosch FC in Saturday’s Carling Black Label Cup at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Khune compares himself to Ronaldo, Messi

While speaking for the first time since his suspension, Khune said he still has a lot left in the tank, just like Messi and Ronaldo.

“I always refer my story to Lionel Messi having won seven Ballon d’Ors [Messi has eight Ballon d’Ors] and he’s still hungry for more,” via iDiski Times.
“I always refer to Cristiano Ronaldo having won five Ballon d’Ors and he’s still hungry for more – he breaks records left, right and centre, he breaks records every league he plays in."

Despite being named the best goalkeeper four times, he wants to win more.

The two legendary stars are still on top of their game despite being deep into their 30s. Ronaldo, for instance, was the top goal-scorer in 2024 at 38.

Meanwhile, Messi led Argentina to their third World Cup title in 2022 at 35.

Khune last won a trophy in the 2014/15 season when Kaizer Chiefs lifted the league title under Stuart Baxter, per Far Post. Khune is currently playing his 20th season with the Chiefs.

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Khune advised to 'retire'

Sports Brief earlier reported that a renowned agent, Mike Makaab, has urged Khune to 'retire' to give younger players a chance.

Makaab lauded the legendary goalkeeper but said the time was right for him to walk away and give the youngsters a chance.

If he decides to hang up his gloves, Khune will go down as one of Kaizer Chiefs' greatest-ever players.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.