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The Most Famous

SOCCER PLAYERS from Zambia

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This page contains a list of the greatest Zambian Soccer Players. The pantheon dataset contains 16,880 Soccer Players, 19 of which were born in Zambia. This makes Zambia the birth place of the 82nd most number of Soccer Players behind Guinea and Burkina Faso.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Zambian Soccer Players of all time. This list of famous Zambian Soccer Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Zambian Soccer Players.

Photo of Godfrey Chitalu

1. Godfrey Chitalu (1947 - 1993)

With an HPI of 52.08, Godfrey Chitalu is the most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages on wikipedia.

Godfrey Chitalu, nicknamed Ucar (22 October 1947 – 27 April 1993), was a Zambian footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded as the greatest Zambian player of all time as he holds his national team's goalscoring record and was voted Zambian footballer of the year five times. In 2006, he was selected by CAF as one of the best 200 African footballers of the past 50 years.The Football Association of Zambia claimed that Chitalu scored more than 100 goals in all competitions in 1972, more than Gerd Müller's total in the same year and Lionel Messi's total in 2012, both of which are often referred to by journalist as "world records". The research was presented in the year 2012 after Lionel Messi broke the alleged world record of Gerd Müller. Nevertheless, a FIFA spokesman declared that an official FIFA world record had never existed as they did not keep track of domestic competitions.Upon retirement, Chitalu took to coaching and was in charge of the Zambia national team when the entire squad perished in a plane crash off the coast of Gabon on 27 April 1993.

Photo of Kalusha Bwalya

2. Kalusha Bwalya (1963 - )

With an HPI of 46.12, Kalusha Bwalya is the 2nd most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Kalusha Bwalya is a Zambian former international footballer. He is Zambia's eighth-most capped player and third on the list of all-time top goalscorers behind Godfrey Chitalu and Alex Chola. Kalusha was named African Footballer of the Year in 1988 by the magazine France Football and was nominated for the 1996 FIFA World Player of the Year where he was voted the 12th-best player in the world, the first to be nominated after playing the entire year for a non-European club. His older brother Benjamin Bwalya played professional football, and his younger brother Joel Bwalya also played for Zambia. His cousin is former Cardiff City and Welsh national football team international Robert Earnshaw. His career as a player, coach and president of the Football Association of Zambia is partly shown in the documentary film "Eighteam".On 20 March 2016, Kalusha lost the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) elections to a renowned businessman-turned football official Andrew Kamanga by 163 to 156 votes in what many thought was an impossible task for the challenger.In August, 2018, the world soccer governing body FIFA banned Bwalya for two years from all football-related activities at both national and international level. The FIFA adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee found him guilty of having violated article 16 (Confidentiality) and article 20 (Offering and accepting gifts and other benefits) of the FIFA Code of Ethics. It is alleged that Bwalya received a bribe in the form of a gift from Mohammed Bin Hammam, a Qatari official. Kalusha is considered one of the greatest players in Zambian football history.

Photo of Christopher Katongo

3. Christopher Katongo (1982 - )

With an HPI of 34.74, Christopher Katongo is the 3rd most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Christopher Katongo (born 31 August 1982) is a Zambian former professional footballer who played as a striker. At international level, he amassed over 100 caps between 2003 and 2016 for the Zambia national team. He is an Africa Cup of Nations winner and won the BBC's African Footballer of the Year award in 2012, winning just over 40% of the public vote. His win is stated to have inspired a number of young players in Zambia.

Photo of Patson Daka

4. Patson Daka (1998 - )

With an HPI of 33.32, Patson Daka is the 4th most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  Her biography has been translated into 27 different languages.

Patson Daka (born 9 October 1998) is a Zambian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Leicester City and the Zambia national team. Coming through the youth system, Daka played for local club Kafue Celtic, who sent him on loan to Nchanga Rangers and Power Dynamos. In January 2017, Daka joined Red Bull Salzburg's reserve team Liefering in Austria, and was then made part of the first team in summer 2017. He helped Red Bull Salzburg win four Austrian Bundesliga titles and three Austrian Cups. In summer 2021, Daka joined Leicester City in the Premier League. Daka represents Zambia internationally, making his senior debut in 2015 aged 16.

Photo of Emmanuel Mayuka

5. Emmanuel Mayuka (1990 - )

With an HPI of 32.73, Emmanuel Mayuka is the 5th most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Emmanuel Mayuka (born 21 November 1990) is a Zambian professional footballer who plays as a striker for NAPSA Stars and the Zambia national team. He was the top scorer in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

Photo of Guus Til

6. Guus Til (1997 - )

With an HPI of 32.67, Guus Til is the 6th most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Guus Berend Til (born 22 December 1997) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Eredivisie club PSV and the Netherlands national team.

Photo of Jacob Mulenga

7. Jacob Mulenga (1984 - )

With an HPI of 31.50, Jacob Mulenga is the 7th most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Jacob Mulenga (born 12 February 1984) is a Zambian former professional footballer who played as a striker. Mulenga started his footballing career at age 18 with hometown club Afrisport, before moving to Châteauroux in 2004. Five years later, he moved to FC Utrecht where he made his definitive breakthrough but also suffered two serious knee injuries. After successful stints in Turkey and China, Mulenga returned to the Netherlands in 2020 where he signed for Go Ahead Eagles. Between 2004 and 2014, he made 41 appearances scoring nine goals for the Zambia national team.

Photo of Rainford Kalaba

8. Rainford Kalaba (1986 - )

With an HPI of 26.37, Rainford Kalaba is the 8th most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Rainford Kalaba (born 14 August 1986) is a Zambian professional footballer who plays for TP Mazembe.

Photo of Kennedy Mweene

9. Kennedy Mweene (1984 - )

With an HPI of 26.36, Kennedy Mweene is the 9th most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Kennedy Mweene (born 11 December 1984) is a Zambian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for South African Premier Soccer League club Mamelodi Sundowns and the Zambia national team. Zambia's most capped player, having represented Zambia more than 120 times.

Photo of James Chamanga

10. James Chamanga (1980 - )

With an HPI of 26.04, James Chamanga is the 10th most famous Zambian Soccer Player.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

James Chamanga (born 2 February 1980) is a Zambian professional football who plays as a striker for Red Arrows.

Pantheon has 19 people classified as soccer players born between 1947 and 1998. Of these 19, 18 (94.74%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living soccer players include Kalusha Bwalya, Christopher Katongo, and Patson Daka. The most famous deceased soccer players include Godfrey Chitalu. As of April 2022, 2 new soccer players have been added to Pantheon including Guus Til and Enock Mwepu.

Living Soccer Players

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Deceased Soccer Players

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Newly Added Soccer Players (2022)

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