Sporting Lisbon sign Indonesian tsunami survivor Martunis for academy
• Martunis was found in Portugal shirt after 2004 tsunami destroyed his home
An Indonesian tsunami survivor, found wearing a Portugal shirt nearly three weeks after his home was destroyed in the 2004 disaster, has joined Sporting Lisbon’s academy.
Martunis, now 17, survived for nearly three weeks on dried noodles and puddle water before he was found, rescued and reunited with his father and grandfather.
His plight drew attention around the world and he was flown to meet the Portugal team before a match against Slovakia in 2005. They also helped finance the rebuilding of his home.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who began his career at Sporting, later flew out to Indonesia to meet him and, according to reports, financed his education. Ronaldo also became an ambassador for a campaign to help save mangrove swamps in the region.
“I am very happy to have joined Sporting. It is a dream come true,” said Martunis, who is known simply by his first name, on the club website. “Martunis will work at the academy,” said Sporting’s president, Bruno de Carvalho. “We will work with him also in his development as a human being and as a man.