Date of Birth – August 16, 1963
Place of Birth – Mufulira
Playing Position – Forward/Winger
Resident – Johannesburg, South Africa
1979–1980 Mufulira Blackpool
1980–1985 Mufulira Wanderers
1985–1989 Cercle Brugge (Belgium)
1989–1994 PSV Eindhoven (Holland)
1994–1997 Club América (Mexico)
1997 Necaxa (Mexico)
1998 Al Wahda (United Arab Emirates)
1998 León (Mexico)
1999 Irapuato (Mexico)
1999 Veracruz (Mexico)
2000 Correcaminos (Mexico)
National Team Career
1983–2004 Zambia 147 caps (100 goals)
After winning several accolades on the local scene, Kalusha also made his name overseas and picked up many awards:
2 x Eredivisie (Dutch League): 1990–91, 1991–92.
1 x KNVB Cup (Dutch Cup): 1989–90.
1 x Johan Cruijff Schaal (Dutch Super Cup): 1991–92.
2 x Pop Poll d’Echte Cercle Brugge K.S.V.: Player of the Year: 1986–87 & 1987–88.
1 x African Footballer of the Year: 1988
2 x Cercle Brugge top scorer: 1987 & 1988.
Coming from a footballing family in Mufulira, Kalusha Bwalya is regarded as the greatest Zambian footballer of all time. He was named African Footballer of the Year in 1988 by the magazine, France. To date, he is the only player from Southern Africa to win such an award.
The continental award for Kalusha came after he stunned a global football fraternity with his brilliant performance for Zambia at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. He made his mark with a most famous hat-trick in a 4–0 victory over former World champions, Italy.
At the full international level, he appeared in 147 international matches and scored 100 goals from 1983 to 2004.
He debuted for Zambia (then KK 11) against Sudan in April 1983 at Dag Hammarskjoeld Stadium in an AFCON qualfier in Ndola, and scored his first goal against Uganda in a World Cup qualifier the following year at the same venue.
He has appeared in multiple tournaments, including six editions of the AFCON.
Kalusha also played a crucial role in the rebuilding for a new national team after the entire squad perished off the coast of Gabon in 1993.
Kalusha, Africa’s most famous “Number 11”, took on the mantle of spearheading the revival of the national side the following year, captaining the side to the runners-up spot at the 1994 AFCON finals in Tunisia—where they succumbed to the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
This was to be the peak of his own career and Zambian football for a long time to come. The Chipolopolo finished in third at the next edition of the AFCON in South Africa in 1996, with Kalusha winning the Golden Boot Award as the topscorer at the tournament.
While playing at Club America in Mexico, Kalusha was nominated for the 1996 FIFA World Player of the Year where he was voted the 12th-best player in the world.
He was the first player to be nominated after playing the entire year for a non-European club.
Kalusha was Zambia’s player-coach during the 2006 World Cup qualifiers. On September 5, 2004, Zambia played Liberia, and the match was tied 0–0 and Kalusha, aged 41, came off the bench during the second half.
He marked his 147th appearance with his 100th goal for the country, scoring from a trademark direct free kick to give Zambia a 1–0 victory and the lead of Africa’s World Cup Group 1. However, Zambia finished third and failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Despite the failure to qualify, Kalusha coached Zambia at the 2006 AFCON but the Chipolopolo were eliminated in the first round. Kalusha stepped down as Chipolopolo manager.
He has nevertheless remained actively involved in international football, contributing to the 2006 World Cup as a member of FIFA’s Technical Study Group.
Kalusha was also one of the ambassadors of the 2010 World Cup which was held in South Africa.
His dream of lifting the coveted AFCON trophy finally came true in 2012 when as FAZ president, Zambia shocked Ivory Coast in the final.
Kalusha currently serves as a standing committee member at FIFA and executive committee member of the Confederation of African Football. He has been FAZ president since 2008, having earlier served as vice-president to Teddy Mulonga.
His older brother Benjamin also played professional football, with his younger brother Joel featuring too for the Chipolopolo.