BY Abu Mubarik, 10:15am February 16, 2024,

How Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji just became first African to break world transfer record

Zambia forward Racheal Kundananji. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Steffen Prößdorf

Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji has become the first African to break the world transfer record in women’s football. In just six years, she has moved from the Zambian Copperbelt Province pitches to a burgeoning National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) side Bay FC for a record $860,000 transfer fee to boot, according to Mirror Sports.

The Zambia forward joined Bay FC from Madrid CFF. According to Mirror Sports, her move to the NWSL was inevitable considering her skills and goal-scoring abilities. She scored 33 goals in 43 Liga F games, the platform added.

The fee surpasses the record set by Keira Walsh in 2022 when she joined Barcelona for $500,000 from Manchester City Star. According to Mirror Sports, Kundananji is not only the most expensive in women’s football history but also the first African player, male or female, to break a world transfer record.

“A lot of people have encouraged me to work hard and some even said ‘maybe one day you’ll break some records’,” Kundananji told BBC Sport Africa.

Her journey to this point has not come easy. Her mother worked in the copper mines while she played football with the local boys from improvised creations made out of plastic and cotton from flour sacks. However, she kept her love for football a secret from her family and always used the excuse of going to her friend’s house to play football. However, her family eventually allowed her to follow her passion upon uncovering her secret. Her family’s response was that her interest in the sport would never go beyond that of a childhood pastime.

“What I really want to say to girls is that they just need to follow their dreams and do what they love doing,” the new Bay FC recruit noted in an interview with the BBC. “Many of our parents will force us to do what we don’t love but then we end up with regrets.” She further noted, “Choose your own path and work hard; then, as time goes on, your parents will support you.”

Kundananji started her professional career playing for Zambia’s Indeni Roses. She was later transferred to BIIK Kazygurt, the biggest women’s club in Kazakhstan before joining Madrid FCC. She is now joining Bay FC which was formed by ex-USWNT and professional club players Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Danielle Slaton, and Aly Wagner last year. The American club will make their NWSL debut this year.

She will play alongside powerful names like Jen Beattie, Asisat Oshoala, and Deyna Castellanos.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 16, 2024

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