Bafana Bafana

Veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune still 'hungry' to play as clock ticks on his career

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Itumeleng Khune (Gallo Images)
Itumeleng Khune (Gallo Images)
  • Itumeleng Khune believes he still has what it takes to play at the highest level.
  • The 33-year-old was called up to the Bafana Bafana squad for the first time in over a year.
  • South Africa are scheduled to face Sao Tome and Principe in back-to-back AFCON qualifiers.

Veteran goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune says that he still has a lot to offer the game of football despite age not being on his side.

"There is a lot still to be achieved," the 33-year-old told the media on Wednesday ahead of Bafana Bafana's back-to-back 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe.

"If you can see how hungry Cristiano Ronaldo is in each and every game, how hungry Lionel Messi is in each and every game he plays.

"You can achieve everything you want but you still hungry for more, so that's my mentality, that I want to achieve more than I have achieved, and it will take a lot of hard work.

"Obviously being pushed by other goalkeepers in the same position as I am."

Khune was called up to the Bafana Bafana squad for the first time in over a year with many fans questioning head coach Molefi Ntseki's selection.

The 'keeper has won many titles with Amakhosi domestically but remains without silverware at national level. He says that hopefully one day in the future the current crop of national players can achieve something.

"Not to say that I am comparing myself to Lionel Messi but Messi has won everything for himself at the club level and he hasn't achieved a lot in the national team colours but he is still the greatest player we have witnessed," Khune said.

"So, I think even myself, I don't want to put myself under pressure. It's a team sport … I don't want to look at myself and be hard on myself. I am going to keep working with all the players that are being assembled in the national team and hopefully God will answer our prayers and we will achieve something in the future."

South Africa's first match takes place on Friday 13 November (kick-off is at 21:00) at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, while the second encounter is scheduled for Monday 16 November (15:00) at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

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