Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji Signs Historic Deal with Bay FC

Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji has become the most expensive women’s footballer in the history of the game after she departed Madrid CFF for the USA’s Bay FC in a record $860,000 deal. Photo: Madrid CFF on X

Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji has made a move that sees her become the most expensive women’s footballer in history of the game after she signed a deal with American women’s footbal club, Bay FC, for a record $860,000 from Madrid CFF. 

Kundananji is the first African player, female or male, to break a world record deal transfer. The prolific footballer who has scored 33 goals in 43 La Liga F games for Madrid, has agreed to a four-year deal with the American club, with an option of a further year. 

The San Jose-based California club will make its debut in the National Women’s Soccer League this year, and is a huge move for Kundananji, who is swapping the 3,500-seater Estadio Fernando Torres in Madrid for the 18,000-capacity PayPal Park in San Jose, California.

Kundananji started her career with Indeni Roses in Zambia before she made the move to BIIK Kazygurt, in Kazakhstan in 2019, where she first played in the Women’s Champion League. 

In 2021, she joined Spanish first-rate side SD Eibar. With eight goals to her name during that season, she made a move to Madrid CCF, where she scored a further 25 goals in 29 league games. 

The role she played helped Madrid CFF to a fifth-place finish last season, the best in the history of the club. She has found the back of the net eight times in 14 games so far in this season, and it’s fair to say that it was at Madrid where Kundananji really flourished and grew into her capabilities and talent. 

Speaking to the media, Kundananji expressed her excitement about the move, “I want to give Bay FC fans what they want, and that is to enjoy the games, to enjoy seeing me playing and scoring.”

The talented Zambian athlete has played and scored at the 2023 Women’s World Cup, and has ten goals in 18 games in national colours. With the enormity of her record transfer, she knows she can always find comfort and support from her homeland Zambia. 

“A lot of people have encouraged me to work hard, and some even said ‘Maybe one day you’ll break some records’. This is the first one, and I know there are more coming. I will do my level best and fight every time I play, like I always do.”

Bay FC’s Record-breaking Signing, Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji

Having scored in the UEFA Women’s Champions League and Women’s World Cup, and faced the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in La Liga F, Kundananji is no stranger to what is expected of her. 

But the international star admits that she will miss life in Spain, while also relishing the prospect of proving herself in the NWSL.

“My team-mates in Madrid have been my family and it was so difficult for me to make this decision. I won’t put myself under pressure. My goal is to continue where I ended in Madrid and to achieve bigger things.

“I’ll never give up because if I give up, I’ll disappoint the young girls who message me asking advice about how they can get the best out of themselves.”

The previous women’s transfer record was held by England midfielder Keira Walsh, who made a £400,000 move from Manchester City to Barcelona in 2022. 

Photo Caption: Zambia’s Racheal Kundananji has become the most expensive women’s footballer in the history of the game after she departed Madrid CFF for the USA’s Bay FC in a record $860,000 deal. Photo: Madrid CFF on X

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About the Author:

Selina Munsamy

Selina Munsamy

I am a sports enthusiast. I am newly appointed KZN Women's Cricket Manager for the 2019/2020 season. My passion lies in cricket, technically I live and breathe cricket. I am a Scorer affiliated to KZN Cricket Scorer's Association. I also coach mini cricket for Tongaat Cricket Union. Live, Laugh and Love with Sport.

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