Jumping Into History: Racheal Kundananji
Jumping Into History: Racheal Kundananji

Zambia's Racheal Kundananji becomes world's most expensive female footballer!

Zambia international Racheal Kundananji has made history by becoming the world's most expensive female footballer. The 23-year-old forward, who scored 33 goals in 43 Liga F games for Spanish club CFF Madrid, agreed to a four-year deal (with an option for a fifth year) with United States club Bay FC earlier this month.

Her transfer fee is $860,000 (£685,000) and she becomes the first African player – male or female – to break a transfer world record.

England midfielder Keira Walsh was previously the most expensive women's player following her £400,000 switch from Manchester City to Barcelona in 2022.

Kundananji signed her first professional contract at age 18, joining Kazakhstan club BIIK Kazygurt in 2019 from Zambian side Indeni Roses.

She helped the Kazakhstan club win back-to-back league championships, before being snapped up by Spanish side Eibar in 2021, and then heavyweights CFF Madrid came calling in 2022.

She scored 25 goals in 29 league games to help Madrid to a fifth-place finish, the best in their history, last season and has added another eight in 14 league matches this campaign.

Kundananji also played and scored at the 2023 Women's World Cup and has netted 21 goals for the senior Zambia women’s national team.

“People in Zambia will be surprised but they will be so happy," Kundananji said of her transfer. "I want to give the [Bay FC] fans what they want - to enjoy the games, to enjoy seeing me playing and scoring.”

Fellow Zambian international Prisca Chilufya believes her teammate will justify the world-record fee: "She's very determined and very hard-working. That's why she has been dominating in every league she has played in.

"She is someone you want on your team because she has a good heart, and she also makes life easy on the pitch."

Kundananji's high-profile move could also help grow the women’s game in Zambia, added Chilufya: "I think this news will be shocking to many because Zambia has never had any expensive players and women's football is still developing in the country.

"It's amazing to know that Zambia has the most expensive player in the world. Players like Racheal have played a big role in inspiring people."

Kundananji will link up with Nigerian star Asisat Oshoala, who also signed with Bay FC earlier this month.

Bay are a brand-new team founded in April 2023 and set to join the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) as an expansion team this year. Their first match will be against Angel City on the morning of 17 March.

Racheal Kundananji in numbers

  • Kundananji has played at three major tournaments with Zambia: the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations, 2020 Olympic Games and 2023 Women’s World Cup.
  • Kundananji has scored 41 goals for both Eibar and Madrid in the Primera Division Femenina (from 61 total appearances).
  • The $860,000 transfer fee in US Dollars paid by Bay FC for Kundananji is a world record for a female player.
  • Kundananji’s contract (excluding the one-year option) with Bay FC runs to 2027.
  • Kundananji is 175 was born in Ndola, Zambia.
  • 18,000 is the seating capacity of the PayPal Park in San Jose, California, which will be Kundananji’s home stadium.

Bay FC will be Kundananji’s fifth club in her career, adding to Indeni Roses, BIIK Kazygurt, SD Eibar and Madrid CFF.