Zambian striker Racheal Kundananji makes history as most expensive female footballer following transfer to Bay FC

Racheal Kundananji has become the most expensive signing in the history of women’s football by joining Bay FC from Madrid CFF for a staggering $860,000 (£685,000).

The talented forward has inked a four-year deal with the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) expansion team, with the option of extending for an additional year.

Racheal Kundananji, netted an impressive 33 goals in 43 Liga F appearances for Madrid CFF in 2022. Her move to the San Francisco Bay Area is contingent upon visa approval and securing an international transfer certificate.

At the age of 23, Kundananji has etched her name in the annals of history as the inaugural African player, regardless of gender, to shatter a world transfer record.

Previously, the most expensive women’s signing was England midfielder Keira Walsh, who made a £400,000 move from Manchester City to Barcelona in 2022.

Chelsea’s acquisition of Colombian striker Mayra Ramirez from Levante, initially at £384,000 with potential add-ons reaching £426,600, is poised to become the second most expensive transfer.

Speaking to BBC Sport Africa, Kundananji expressed her delight, saying, “People in Zambia will be surprised but they will be so happy. I want to give the [Bay FC] fans what they want – to enjoy the games, to enjoy seeing me playing and scoring.”

Kundananji embarked on her football journey in Zambia with Indeni Roses before venturing to BIIK Kazygurt in Kazakhstan in 2019, where she had the privilege of competing in the prestigious Women’s Champions League.

Two years later, she made her mark in the Spanish top-flight with Eibar before moving to Madrid.

Her remarkable performance of 25 goals in 29 league appearances contributed significantly to Madrid CFF’s historic fifth-place finish last season, followed by an additional eight goals in 14 league matches this campaign.

Racheal Kundananji also showcased her skills at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia-New Zealand, where she notched memorable goals, accumulating a total of 10 goals in 18 appearances for Zambia.

Bay FC embarks on their maiden NWSL journey this year as the league’s 14th team, with the regular season set to commence on 16 March.

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