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Zambian forward Racheal Kundananji becomes the most expensive female player

Posted : 14 February 2024

Zambian forward Racheal Kundananji has achieved a historic milestone, becoming the most expensive female football player with a move from Madrid CFF to Bay FC in the American National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) for a record-breaking $860,000 (£685,000). This transfer fee eclipses the previous benchmark set by Keira Walsh's £400,000 move from Manchester City to Barcelona in 2022. Kundananji, the first African player, male or female, to establish a world transfer record, is embarking on this groundbreaking journey after an impressive 18-month stint in Madrid, where she scored 33 Liga F goals in 43 games.

The Zambian sensation expresses surprise at the magnitude of the transfer fee but anticipates overwhelming support from her homeland, Zambia. She is determined to bring joy to Bay FC fans with her performances, stating, "I want to give the [Bay FC] fans what they want - to enjoy the games, to enjoy seeing me playing and scoring." Kundananji, aware of the historic nature of her achievement, acknowledges that people in Zambia will be both surprised and delighted by the news, emphasizing the encouragement she received from many to work hard and break records.

Despite the significant step in her career, Kundananji maintains a close connection with her roots, keeping her mother, her biggest influence, in the dark about the record-breaking transfer until the official announcement. She fondly recalls her early days, playing football secretly with makeshift balls in Zambia, and encourages girls to follow their dreams and choose their own path, emphasizing the importance of hard work and perseverance.

Joining Bay FC, Kundananji is set to form a striking partnership with Nigerian forward Asisat Oshoala, a six-time Africa's Player of the Year, creating a formidable duo for the team. The Zambian player's journey from a Chelsea fan watching Premier League stars like Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard to becoming a world-record transfer is a testament to her dedication, humility, and goal-scoring prowess.

Chris Atkins, Kundananji's agent since 2018, highlights her remarkable improvement in finishing, tactical awareness, and physicality over the years. He acknowledges the significance of her achievement, starting with a transfer from Zambia's Indeni Roses to BIIK Kazygurt in Kazakhstan in 2019 and subsequent moves to Liga F side Eibar before thriving at Madrid CFF.

Kundananji's success story is expected to inspire young Africans, especially in Zambia, where women's football is still developing. While the world takes notice of this historic transfer, Atkins predicts that the women's football transfer landscape will witness more records being shattered in the coming years. The Zambian forward, now playing in the NWSL at PayPal Park in San Jose, remains focused on continuing her success and serving as an inspiration for young girls aspiring to achieve their dreams.


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