Racheal Kundananji became the most expensive transfer in the history of women's football. The Zambian international moves from Madrid CFF to Bay FC before payment of 735 thousand euros and an agreement for a bonus of 70,000 dollars based on the goals you score in the NWSL. These numbers complement the conditions for the player herself, who will earn 2.5 million dollars in five seasons. A signing that improves the numbers of Chelsea's recent acquisition of Mayra Ramírez – from Levante – and confirms the talent drain in the F League.
The first firm offers for Kundananji arrived at the club's offices in early January. As we reported in MARCA at the beginning of the year, Madrid CFF rejected proposal of 400 thousand euros understanding that the striker was a key cog in the gears of a team immersed in the fight for places in the Champions League. “It was not an easy negotiation, as it was very complicated for Madrid CFF to get rid of one of the best players in the F League at such an important stage of the season”, he highlights. Óscar González, co-founder of TMJ and agent of the football player.
Although The capital team didn't want to get rid of Rachelaleven if some team came with your money clause – set at 700 thousand euros –, had no choice but to sit down and negotiate. Bay FC's latest proposal, which not only paid that amount but added a 5% to cover training fees and a bonus of 75,000 dollars (70,000 euros) when the football player reaches 20 goals in the NWSL, led Alfredo Ulloa to sign what became the biggest transfer in the history of so-called women's football. “It has been a very intense and very sensitive process in every way due to the particularities of the NWSL with regard to transfer management, due to the interest of the Madrid CFF in retaining the player, because it is the first operation of similar characteristics in the League. F and Racheal's desire that both the signing by Bay FC and her relationship with Madrid CFF go as smoothly as possible”, explains Óscar.
Former Indeni Roses, BIIK Kazygurt and Eibar player, landed at Madrid CFF in the summer of 2022. In his first season he signed 27 goals in 31 games and ended up like second top scorer in the F League. In the current course he accumulated 8 goals in 15 games. Interestingly, since the interest of several American clubs in signing her was announced, the Zambian has not seen the door again. They came up empty against Real Madrid, Athletic Club and Real Betis. After, He did not participate in the games against Madrid CFF and Sevilla, where he remained on the bench due to some discomfort in his thigh.. The football player trained with her other teammates until Wednesday, when the final agreement between the clubs was reached and her health was preserved. “We are very happy to see the great opportunity that Racheal has and also to confirm the global commitment that continues to be made in women's football”, highlights the footballer's agent.
Rachelal will have to wait to join her new clubwhere he will compete with other players known to the Spanish public such as Asisat Oshoala -ex-Barcelona-, Deyna Castellanos -former Atlético de Madrid- o Good luck Ubogagu -ex-Real Madrid-. The Zambian will soon travel with her team for the double clash with Ghana corresponding to the semi-finals of the qualifying phase for the Olympic Games. The idea is for Kundananji to come under the command of Albertin Montoya before the start of the NWSL regular season on March 16.. “It will be Bay FC's first season in the NWSL, as it is a new franchise, but its owners, also owners of the Sixth Street investment group which has significant investments in clubs such as Barcelona, San Antonio Spurs, AirBbB or Spotify , make a very important commitment to compete at the highest level from the very beginning”, says Óscar.
The most expensive signings in the history of women's football
- 735,000 euros: Racheal Kundananji (Madrid CFF-Bay FC)
- 450 thousand euros: Mayra Ramírez (Levante-Chelsea)
- 400,000 euros: Keira Walsh (Manchester City-Barcelona)
- 350,000 euros: Jill Roord (Wolfsburg-Manchester City)
- 350,000 euros: Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg-Chelsea)
- 350,000 euros: Lindsay Horan (Portland Thorns-Olympique Lyonnais)
- 320,000 euros: Kyra Cooney-Cross (Hammarby-Arsenal)
- 300,000 euros: Geyse Ferreira (Barcelona-Manchester United)
- 300,000 euros: Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars-Chelsea)
- 280,000 euros: Beth England (Chelsea-Tottenham)
Kundananji signing comes just a few days later Chelsea will sign Colombian Mayra Ramírez, previously a Levante player, for 450 thousand euros (plus 50 thousand euros in variables)becoming the most expensive transfer at that time, exceeding the amount (400,000 euros) that at the time Barcelona paid for Keira Walsh.
“We are delighted to add Racheal to our group. She is a tremendous talent, with dynamic attacking qualities and an incredible physical profile that she has produced for both club and country. Racheal has composure in front of goal and a natural ability to to score with different types of shots and from different locations. We believe that he will continue to grow and develop at our club, showing his abilities and adding to the range of interesting offensive talents we have here”, he noted. Lucy Rushton, general manager of Bay FC.
Flight of talent
The departures of Racheal Kundananji or Mayra Ramírez to two of the Leagues that seem to focus most on women's football at the moment, the American (NWSL) and the English (WSL)is nothing more than an example of the talent drain that League F is suffering. In addition to the Zambian and Colombian, other renowned international football players have left, such as the Brazilian. Geyse Ferreira (Manchester United), Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC) Fr. Viola Calligaris (PSG), among others, but also national footballers of the stature of Ester González (Gotham), Maitane López (Gotham), Laia Codina (Arsenal), Alejandra Bernabé (Chelsea are on loan to Real Sociedad until the end of the season), Oihane Valdezate (Pomegranate), Barbara Latorre (Roma, loaned to Levante Las Planas until the end of the season) O Nuria Rábano (Wolfsburg). These football players teamed up with players like Jenni Hermoso (Tigers), Laia Aleixandri (Manchester City) Lucia Garcia (Manchester United), who are making a career away from our championship.
The exodus of national talent is not exclusive to female footballers, but is spreading to the stands. Three of the 14 benches in the NWSL this season will be occupied by Spanish coaches: Juan Carlos Amorós will continue to drive Gotham, last champion; Francisco Alonso joins the Houston Dash after his spell at Glasgow Celtic; It is Jonatan Giráldez will take charge of the Washington Spirit once the season with Barcelona endsoccupying his position on an interim basis Adriano González, until now coach of Espanyol. In Mexico, Mila Martinez leads Tigers and Oscar Fernández to Juárez. At the selection level, Pedro Lopes takes you to Mexico, Luis Cortes to Saudi Arabia or Jorge Vilda Morocco.
Emigration has a clear economic component. Spanish clubs, with some exceptions, do not value talent or are simply not able to compete with what is offered by players or coaches from other countries. Let us take as an example the case that interests us here, that of Racheal Kundananji, who will go from earning close to 100 thousand euros at Madrid CFF to almost five times her salary at Bay FC.