Sporting Lisbon have signed 17-year-old Martunis who survived a heavy tsunami tat hit Indonesia in 2004
Sporting Lisbon have signed Indonesian tsunami survivor Martunis to their academy 11 years after he survived on puddle water after the disaster that killed his mother and two brothers.
The tsunami disaster on Boxing day of 2004 killed 230, 000 people across 14 countries and caught Martunis stranded on beach of Banda Aceh where he survived on just water from puddles and noddles for 21 days.
Martunis was found by a group of journalists wandering the beaches of the Indonesian city and was in bad conditions needing a saline drip due to the dehydration he had suffered.
A member of the Save the Children team who delivered him to hospital said that had he been found a day later he may not have survived.
The story of Martunis who was playing football when the 9.3 magnitude earthquake occurred won over the football world as he was wearing a Portuguese football jersey when he was found.
Asked about his survival, Martunis said; "I was not afraid at all because I wanted to be alive to meet m family and be a football player."
His football hero Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo met with Martunis in the aftermath of the disaster and according to reports, rebuilt the home which he grew up and provided money for his upkeep.
"I believe that many adults would not even be able to deal with what he has gone through. We must respect him. His was an act of strength and maturity. He's a special kid," Ronaldo said at that time.
To cut the long story short, it seems Martunis' dream to become a professional footballer has come to pass as he was yesterday unveiled by Sporting Lisbon who have signed him to their academy.
The 17-year-old is following the footstep of of his hero, Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, and Luis Figo who were all nurtured by Sporting Lisbon academy.
"It's great to be here, this club makes my dream possible," Martunis said at his presentation.
"I am incredibly excited about this opportunity. Viva Sporting!"