How old is Itumeleng Khune? The personal life story of the South African goalkeeper

How old is Itumeleng Khune? The personal life story of the South African goalkeeper

Helix Odhiambo
updated at January 19, 2024 at 5:33 AM
In this article:
Itumeleng Khune logo
I. Khune
Kaizer Chiefs logoGSouth Africa logo
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
FIFA World Cup logo
FIFA World Cup

Veteran South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is a brilliant footballer known for his skills, leadership, and contributions to African football. He has enjoyed a successful career with Kaizer Chiefs and the South African national team while attracting the interest of top European clubs. So, how old is Itumeleng Khune, and where is he now?

How old is Itumeleng Khune?
South Africa's Itumeleng Khune in action during their FIFA World Cup match against Mexico on 11 June 2010. Photo: Eric Verhoeven
Source: Getty Images

Khune began his football career as a defender; little did he know that he would become one of the best goalkeepers in South Africa. The legendary keeper has, however, had issues with his discipline and conduct that have tarnished his reputation. Here is all you need to know about his life story.

Itumeleng Khune's profile summary

Full name

Itumeleng Isaac Khune

Date of birth

20 June 1987


36 (as of January 2024)

Place of birth

Ventersdorp, South Africa


South African


1.81 m (5' 11")






Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa national team


Flora and Elias Khune


Mapula, Lucky


Sphelele Makhunga


Amogelang and Lesedi

Net worth

$1 million - $5 million

Social media

Instagram, X (Twitter)

Itumeleng Khune's biography

Khune is an experienced goalkeeper born to Elias and Flora Khune. His father was an amateur football striker who also worked as a driver in a mine in Carletonville to support his family. Itumeleng has five siblings, including his young brother, Lucky, and his late sister, Mapula.

Itumeleng Khune's age
Itumeleng Khune of South Africa makes a save during the 2013 AFCON quarter-final against Mali at Moses Mahbida Stadium on 2 February 2013 in Durban, South Africa. Photo: Steve Haag
Source: Getty Images

Lucky is also a professional footballer and has played for different teams as a centre-back, including Chippa United, Vasco Da Gama, and Kaizer Chiefs. Their sister Mapula died in a house fire at their grandmother's house in Ventersdorp in March 2021.

Itumeleng studied at New Nation, Westridge, St Barnabas, and RW Fick High School. He spent most of his time playing cricket in school before finding his passion for football.

How old is Itumeleng Khune?

Legendary goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune (age 36 as of January 2024) was born on 20 June 1987 in Tshing, Ventersdorp, South Africa.

While age is catching up on most footballers over 35, Khune continues to prove that age is just a number. He dreams of playing until he reaches 50, to surpass his idol, Essam El-Hadary of Egypt, who retired at 47.

"Retiring at the age of 47. You are a living legend that shows that age is just a number." Read Itumeleng's message to Egyptian legend El-Hadary on X(Twitter). " Happy retirement. I wanna play until I'm 50," the Kaizer Chiefs' star added.

Itumeleng Khune's career

Where is Itumeleng Khune now?
Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs gestures during their Absa Premiership match against Ajax Cape Town at Cape Town Stadium on 1 May 2013, in South Africa. Photo: Carl Fourie
Source: Getty Images

The Bafana shot-stopper joined Kaiser Chiefs for trials in 1999 as a defender. However, after displaying excellent diving skills in training, the team's youth coach converted him to a goalie. Since then, he has established himself among the best goalkeepers in the country.

Kaizer Chiefs

Itumeleng was promoted to the first team in 2004 and made his league debut against Jomo Cosmos in August 2007. He quickly became the undisputed first-choice keeper for Kaizer Chiefs. Itumeleng has played over 340 games for his club across all competitions.

Bafana Bafana

The Ventersdorp-born goalie joined South Africa's senior squad in the 2008 AFCON but got no minutes. He was the first-choice keeper for Bafana in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, where he made headlines after saving David Villa's penalty.

Itumeleng Khune's net worth
South Africa's Itumeleng Khune stops Spain's David Villa's penalty during their Fifa Confederations Cup match on 20 June 2009 at the Free State Stadium. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba
Source: Getty Images

Khune was also the first-choice goalie in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He made incredible saves in their opening game against Mexico but later got sent off against Uruguay after tripping Luis Suarez inside the penalty area in the 77th minute.

Itumeleng became the second goalkeeper, after Gianluca Pagliuca (1994 FIFA World Cup), to receive a red card in a World Cup. He played for Bafana in the 2013 AFCON and captained his nation in the 2014 CHAN in South Africa.

The veteran keeper also played in the 2016 Summer Olympics, where he made heroic saves to deny Brazil's Neymar in a 0-0 draw. Khune has played 91 games for Bafana (as of January 2024), making him the second-most capped player after Aaron Mokoena (107).

Itumeleng Khune's achievements

Is Itumeleng Khune leaving Kaizer Chiefs?
Itumeleng Khune of Chiefs lifts the Absa Premiership cup at Mbombela Stadium on 18 May 2013 in Nelspruit, South Africa. Photo: Duif du Toit
Source: Getty Images

The South African footballer is one of the most decorated goalies in the country. He has lifted 13 major trophies with Amakhosi, including three league titles and two Nedbank Cups. The goalkeeper has also won four Telkom Knockout Cups and four MTN8 titles.

Itumeleng Khune's awards include the 2013 PSL Player of the Year after keeping 12 clean sheets and conceding only 21 goals. His other awards include:

  • PSL Players' Player of the Season (2007-08, 2012–13)
  • PSL Club Rookie of the Year (2007-08)
  • SA Sports Awards Sportsman of the Year (2013)
  • SA Sports Awards Newcomer of the Year (2008)
  • Telkom Knockout Player of the Tournament (2007)

Interesting facts about Itumeleng Khune

Itumeleng Khune's achievements
South Africa's Itumeleng Khune (R) tries to tackle Senegal's Sadio Mane (L) during their 2018 World Cup qualifier on 12 November 2016 in Polokwane. Photo: Stringer
Source: Getty Images

The footballer has made millions throughout his career. Besides football, he built a family with his wife and kids. Here is more about Itumeleng Khune and his family, including his net worth and salary.

Itumeleng Khune's net worth and salary

The veteran goalie has an estimated net worth of $1 million - $5 million as of January 2024. He is among the wealthiest goalkeepers in South Africa. Itumeleng Khune's salary at Kaizer Chiefs is around $24,100, and he ranks among the highest-paid goalkeepers in the Dstv Premiership.

Itumeleng Khune's wife

How old is Itumeleng Khune's wife? The legendary footballer is married to Sphelele Makhunga. She was born in 1997 in South Africa, making her 26 years old as of January 2024 and 10 years younger than her husband.

Sphelele is an entrepreneur and social media influencer. Her estimated net worth is $107,300. She has two kids with her husband, Lesedi Ziyanda and Amo Zenande.

Itumeleng Khune's house and cars

The Bafana goalie has a luxurious house in Johannesburg, where he lives with his family. He also has a collection of cars, including a Mercedes Benz, a BMW, and an Audi.

Is Itumeleng Khune leaving Kaizer Chiefs?

The father of two has no intention of leaving his boyhood club despite links to numerous clubs. His contract with Amakhosi expires in June 2024.

What happened to Itumeleng Khune?

Itumeleng Khune
South Africa's Itumeleng Khune looks on during their World Cup match against Mexico on 11 June 2010. Photo: Eric Verhoeven
Source: Getty Images

The experienced keeper was left out of Bafana's squad for the 2023 AFCON due to disciplinary issues with his club. Kaizer Chiefs suspended Khune in December 2023 for violating the team's code of conduct, including showing up to training under the influence of alcohol.

Where is Itumeleng Khune now?

According to the latest news on Itumeleng Khune, the goalie has been out of action in the past few months following suspension. He could return in early 2024 after serving his punishment.

Itumeleng Khune's Instagram

The father of two has 1 million followers on his official Instagram account as of January 2024. He is also available on X (Twitter) with 1.4 million followers.

Final word

How old is Itumeleng Khune, and when will he retire? The veteran goalkeeper is 36 years old but remains committed to football. His talent, skills, and longevity inspire many young keepers. Itumeleng has also contributed to charity programs and nurturing talents.

READ ALSO: All the facts and details about Nyiko Mobbie, the South African defender

Sports Brief also featured the life of Nyiko Sydney Mobbie, a South African professional footballer playing as a right-back for Sekhukhune United and the Bafana Bafana.

Mobbie is among the high-profile names representing his nation in the 2023 AFCON competition. His journey from amateur football to a professional career is a testimony of hard work. Follow the above link to learn more about him.

Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.