His name is Martunis and 10 years ago he was a victim of a tsunami and had no home. Today he achieves his dream and was hired by Sporting Lisboa thanks to the big heart of Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of the Portuguese football team!
The life story of Sporting’s new signing is simply incredible and his progression in Portugal’s top flight will be followed with huge interest.
As an eight-year-old boy, Martunis was found alive, stranded on a swampy area of beach, a full 21 days after a giant Tsunami hit and devastated Aceh in Indonesia, in December 2004.
This Tsunami killed over 230,000 people in 14 countries bordering on the Indian Ocean.
Aceh was one of the worst hit places with 170,000 people killed, including Martunis’ mother and two sisters.
Martunis was swept away by the Tsunami and somehow survived for 18 days on his own. He ate food such as pot noodles that had also been swept out to sea.
After 21 days the food had run out and Martunis was found and delivered to a Sky News journalist.
Besides his incredible story of survival, Martunis also hit the headlines in Portugal as he was wearing a number 10 Portugal Rui Costa shirt during this whole ordeal.
When asked about his survival, Martunis said: “I was not afraid at all at that time because I still wanted to be alive to meet my family and to be a football player.”
His story won over the hearts of many in Portugal, including Cristiano Ronaldo. The then Manchester United star paid for the house where Martunis grew up to be rebuilt for his family following the devastating Tsunami.
Cristiano Ronaldo has also met Martunis on a couple of occasions, most recently in 2013.
In 2005, Martunis met with the Portugal squad (first picture below), including his hero Cristiano Ronaldo, and he said at the time that he wanted to play for the Portugal national team.
Martunis will now play for Sporting Lisbon’s Under-19 squad and has a great opportunity to emulate his great hero Cristiano Ronaldo (second picture below).