On 13 February 2024, 23-year-old Racheal Kundananji from Zambia made headlines for becoming the most expensive women’s footballer in history. The forward joined Bay FC in the United States from Madrid CFF for $860,000. Kundananji scored an impressive 33 goals in 43 Liga F games for Madrid CFF before securing a four-year deal with Bay FC, with the option of an additional year. Bay FC is set to make their National Women’s Soccer League debut this year, where Kundananji will showcase her skills.
This landmark transfer deal has solidified Kundananji as the first African player, male or female, to break a world transfer record. Despite the hefty price tag, she is determined to deliver exceptional performances for her new club. Kundananji expressed her desire to give the Bay FC fans an enjoyable experience, promising to deliver her best on the field with the hopes of scoring goals and securing victories for the team.
Bay FC will pay an initial $785,000 for Kundananji, with a further $75,000 in add-ons. Throughout her career, Kundananji began with Zambian side Indeni Roses before earning a move to Spanish top-flight side Eibar and dazzling with her pace and skills. Her impressive credentials include playing and scoring at the 2023 Women’s World Cup and notching 10 goals in 18 games for Zambia. With this high-profile move, Kundananji’s transfer adds to the record spending in the women’s game, with Fifa reporting that transfer fees totalled $2.1m in January, a significant increase from January 2023.
Despite the limited increase in the number of international transfers from 12 months ago, the rise in transfer fees demonstrates a growing investment and recognition of talented female footballers worldwide.