An amazing story has hit the press after the revelation that Tsunami survivor and Cristiano Ronaldo fan turned friend of the player, Martunis, has signed for Sporting Lisbon.
The 17-year-old has joined Ronaldo’s former side a decade on from the Boxing Day wave that devastated his life and left him stranded.
— Sporting CP (@Sporting_CP) July 2, 2015
The young lad was discovered three weeks after the Tsunami, having managed to survive, and made headlines around the world after being pictured in a Portugal shirt and admitting that Cristiano Ronaldo was his favourite player.
Martunis had been stranded in a swamp for 21 days before learning that his mother and siblings had all been killed in the atrocity, along with 230,000 others. He managed to keep himself alive by drinking dirty water and eating dried noodles that had washed up in the water.
The then seven-year-old was reunited with his father, who had survived, and told his story to reporters, admitting that he had been playing football at the time the wave hit.
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.
The story soon captured the heart of Cristiano Ronaldo, who went to meet the kid and even gave him his number, keeping in touch throughout the years and helping to raise money to rebuild his family home.
That of course makes the fact that Martunis has recently joined Sporting Lisbon, Ronaldo’s boyhood side, all the more remarkable – and you have to assume the two will continue their bond with the kid being handed the chance to begin his career with the club’s youth academy in Alcochete, the very same place one Cristiano Ronaldo began his illustrious career.
Martunis’ story is nowhere near finished yet, and if the rest of it is as incredible as the first 17 years of his life, it will be one to watch.