Zambian ace set for Spanish league

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Jeff Kapembwa

Lusaka Zambian football star Hellen Mubanga has joined Spanish second-tier side Zaragoza Club de Futbol Femenino (CFF), joining a growing list of female soccer players from the Southern African country who are plying their trade overseas.

Other female Zambian footballers playing abroad include Rachael Nachula, Barbara Banda, Rachel Kundananji and Misozi Zulu.

Mubanga, a striker, who played domestically for Red Arrows, is part of the national women’s side, Shepolopolo, which qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after they beat the much vaunted Cameroon in the final qualifier. However, the Games have been postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The CFF website this week confirmed the club secured Mubanga’s services, making her the Spanish side’s fifth signing this year.

“The Zaragoza team continues with the management and planning of the next season, 2020/21, with the signing of the player, Hellen Mubanga, the fifth to complte the attacking area of the team,” a story on the website reads.

Zaragoza describes Mubanga as a nimble-footed striker and versatile player, with great technique and vision that make any side she plays for more dynamic.

Barbara Banda, on the other hand, joined EDF Logrono in Spain two years ago before switching to China where she joined premier league side, Shangai FC.

Rachel Kundananji and Misozi Zulu are both based in Kazakhastan where they turn out for BIIK Kazygurt, which qualified for the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League but stumbled at the quarterfinal stage to Bayern Munich.

The male footballers have also been steadily trekking abroad.

Under-23 players Patson Daka and Enock Mwepu are playing in Austria’s Bundisliga with Salzburg FC; while Fashion Sakala (KV Oostende), Stophela Sunzu (Shijiazhuang Ever Bright) and Jacob Mulenga (Liaoning Hongyun) are also making names for themselves on the international scene.

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