Boy who survived Indonesian tsunami at seven fulfils pro football dream

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Sporting Lisbon unveiled a new signing today, 17-year-old Martunis.

Like many young boys around the world, he grew up dreaming of life as a footballer, but this particular boy has overcome incredible adversity to fulfil his childhood ambition.

Picture from Facebook.

Martunis was just seven years old on St Stephen’s Day in 2004 when the tsunami hit his home in Indonesia.

His mother and two brothers were both killed, and for three weeks it was believed that he too was among the 230,000 victims of the natural disaster.

But, 21 days after the initial earthquake, Martunis was found on a swampy stretch of beach, where he had survived alone all that time by eating whatever he could forage.

Picture from Facebook.

The boy’s rescue was hailed as a miracle and he was shown on TV news around the world.

That TV appearance was the start of Martunis’ relationship with Portugal. He was wearing a Portuguese jersey when found and the nation took the little boy into their hearts.

He got to meet his football hero, Portuguese international Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Portuguese football federation donated money to rebuild a home for the child and his father.

Martunis has since maintained his love of both football and Portugal and yesterday fulfilled his childhood dream, joining the football academy of Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon.

“It’s great to be here, this club makes my dream possible,” Martunis said when he was presented as a new signing.

“I am incredibly excited about this opportunity. Viva Sporting!”

Martunis will train at the academy and play with Sporting’s U19 squad.

“I want him to be a clever boy with a bright future,” his father said. “I hope he gets a good job in the future.

“I will be very proud if he enjoys a good life or becomes a professional footballer.”

H/T: Daily Mail

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