Racheal Kundananji: Who is the player behind the world record signing fee?

Copper Queens star shatters barriers with historic NWSL transfer

Racheal Kundananji: Who is the player behind the world record signing fee?
Credit Image: © Kim Price/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA

How Kundananji became the world's most expensive player

Kundananji began her playing career in Zambia with Indeni Roses, where her 21 goals in 18 games caught the eye of European scouts. In 2019, at 18 years old, she signed her first professional contract with BIIK Kazygurt in Kazakhstan. Ok, it's not exactly a move that made waves, but it was only a short time before that changed. Kundananji played throughout the team's back-to-back league championship wins in 2019 and 2020 and scored four goals in 11 UEFA Champions League appearances.

Spain was the next move for Kundananji after SD Eibar spotted her and snapped her up for what would turn out to be a difficult 2021/22 season. Despite a solid personal performance, with eight goals in 21 games, Kundananji was powerless to stop the team from being relegated. However, she stayed in the Spanish top flight after signing with Madrid CFF, having a stand-out 2022/23 season, scoring 25 goals. 

In case you missed it, all 25 of Kundananji's Liga F 2022/23 goals are waiting for you here...

Racheal Kundananji's Record-Breaking Talent

Inevitably, it wasn't long before the suitors came calling again, and the ambitious Kundananji herself pushed for an exit from Madrid CFF. Kundananji's impressive displays for club and country had caught the attention of Bay FC, an NWSL expansion team. After a year of work and negotiation, she signed for a record-breaking transfer fee of £625,000 (€735,000/$788,000). Not only that but she's also set to become one of the highest-paid players in the NWSL with a reported $2 million over a 4-year contract, according to the Equalizer.

"We are delighted to add Racheal to our group," said Bay FC General Manager Lucy Rushton. "She is a tremendous talent with dynamic attacking qualities and an incredible physical profile who has produced for both club and country. Racheal has a composure in-front of goal and a natural ability to score with different types of finishes and from various locations. We believe she will continue to grow and develop at our club, showcasing her skillset and adding to the array of exciting attacking talent we have here."

International career

Away from club football, Kundananji is a central figure in the Zambia Women's National Team (The Copper Queens). Her performances were instrumental in Zambia's historic semi-final finish at the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations, which also secured their first qualification for the FIFA Women's World Cup. She represented her country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, scoring her first World Cup goal in Zambia’s 3-1 group-stage win over Costa Rica.

Stats Snapshot: Racheal Kundananji 

Born: 3 June 2000, Zambia
Position: Forward
Pro Teams: Indeni Roses 2018 (Zambia), BIIK Kazygurt 2019-21 (Kazakhstan), Eibar 2022, Madrid CFF2022-24 (Spain), Bay FC 2024- (USA)