Tsunami survivor signed by Portuguese Primera Liga club
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 06, 2015 01:37 AM
Photo via Martunis' Twitter account: @MartunisCR8
An inspiring story made the rounds in the football world last week as an Indonesian tsunami survivor’s dreams became reality as 17-year old Martunis was signed to Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon’s youth academy.
Back in 2004, a massive tsunami struck Indonesia, killing thousands of people, including Martunis’ mother and two brothers. Then only six years old, Martunis, who was playing football as the giant waves hit, managed to survive the ordeal on dried noodles and puddle water. Through it all, the young survivor was wearing a Portugal jersey that caught the attention of football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as images of the disaster circulated in the news.
The Portugal/Real Madrid star flew out to meet Martunis in the aftermath of the disaster, and along with the Portugal football team, helped rebuild a new life for him and his father.
In 2005, Martunis was brought to meet the Portugal team before a match against Slovakia.
Now, the same club that gave Ronaldo his start has also given Martunis an opportunity of a lifetime, signing the survivor to their youth academy.
According to Martunis, he has always dreamed of becoming a football player when he grows up, and now he gets the first step into realizing his childhood dream.
Aside from developing his skills as a football player, Sporting Lisbon will also ensure that he also develops as a person, according to club president Bruno de Carvalho.