Considered Zambia’s greatest player, Kalusha Bwalya is a hero in his homeland and its main footballing ambassador. He appeared for the Chipolopolo a record 100 times and scored 50 goals over two decades, leading them through a glory period on the pitch and one of its darkest times off of it. He became the only Zambian to win the African Player of the Year award in 1988 after shining at the Olympic Football Tournament in Seoul. Then at Cercle Brugge in Belgium, he scored a superb hat-trick in a famous 4-0 victory over Italy and tallied six times in four matches as Zambia went to the quarter-finals.
Although he never reached a FIFA World Cup™ with Zambia, Kalusha featured in the qualifiers for five World Cups, scoring 10 times in 21 matches. Incredibly, he played in the Germany 2006 preliminaries as a 41 year old, when he, as player-manager, brought himself off the bench to score a 91st-minute winner against Liberia. He also starred in six editions of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, captaining the Zambians to second in 1994. Two years later they finished third with Kalusha the top scorer with five goals. The achievements of that time were more remarkable given the 1993 airplane disaster that killed 18 members of the Zambian national team. Kalusha was a central figure in helping Zambia heal on and off the pitch, and he was duly named Zambia’s Sportsman of the Century.
A varied club career saw Kalusha go from Belgium to PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, where he won the Eredivisie twice. He spent most of the latter half of his career in Mexico, most significantly with America. He is the President of the Zambia FA and has been as a member of FIFA Technical Study Group for the 2004 Olympics and 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
As a player
1979 - 1980: Mufulira Blackpool
1980 - 1985: Mufulira Wanderers
1985 - 1989: Cercle Brugge
1989 - 1994: PSV Eindhoven
1994 - 1997: America
1998: Al Wahda
1999: Vera Cruz
2000: Correcaminos UAT
As a manager
2003 - 2006: Zambia national team