— Sporting CP_en (@SportingCP_en) July 2, 2015
Martunis signing with Sporting Lisbon is hardly the type of eye-catching headline that typically surfaces during the transfer window.
But undoubtedly, the 17-year-old’s journey every bit warrants the same amount of attention and ink as the Paul Pogba and David De Gea attention-grabbers of the world.
Sporting Lisbon inked the Indonesian footballer to their youth academy on Wednesday. Eleven years prior, he spent 21 days stranded in a swamp after a 9.3 Indonesian earthquake cased a tsunami that killed 230,000 people, along with the then-seven-year-old’s mother and two of his siblings.
According to the Daily Mail, Martunis was playing football in a Portugal shirt at the time of the 2004 Boxing Day disaster and survived from puddle water and washed-up noodles.
He was found after 21 days and delivered to a Sky Sports journalist.
After the disaster, Martunis met some of his Portuguese heroes, including Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Eusebio.
ARMANDO FRANCA/Associated Press
PAULO DUARTE/Associated Press
Now he’s in the same system where Figo and Ronaldo cut their professional teeth on the pitch.
“It’s great to be here, this club makes my dream possible,” he said, per the same Mail piece. “I am incredibly excited about this opportunity—Viva Sporting!”