Christiano Ronaldo funded the education of a 7-year-old survivor of the horrific 2004 Tsunami in Indonesia. The boy was found 21 days after the disaster, alone & wearing a Portuguese National Football team Jersey. The boy grew up to be a Football player & was signed by Sporting Lisbon.
Martunis was playing football on the beaches of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, when the waves came crashing down.
After being separated from his family, he survived on dried noodles and puddle water.
Cristiano Ronaldo flew out to meet him after seeing him wearing the Portugal shirt (above).
Martunis’ education was reportedly paid for by Ronaldo, who began his career with Sporting, and the Portugal team donated money to help rebuild his family’s home.
The 17-year-old also appears to have adopted Ronaldo’s surname and claims to be Ronaldo’s adopted child on his Twitter profile.
Martunis was flown over to Portugal in 2005 to meet the Portuguese team ahead of a match against Slovakia.
“Become a professional football player and play in Portugal and for the Portuguese national team,” he says.
“I am really happy to be at sporting,” Martunis said at the club’s gala.
“It’s a dream come true, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
The club posted a photo of the adolescent on Twitter with the caption:
“Surviving the tsunami in Indonesia. @MartunisCR8 will live and grow in @Sporting_CP Academy. #MartunisSporting”
“Martunis will be at the Academy working with us,” said President Bruno de Carvalho.
“Sporting’s role in society is to assist people in achieving their goals and to provide dignity in their lives.”
On the 26th of December 2004, huge waves caused by a massive underwater earthquake killed over 230,000 people in 11 countries.
It was one of the most deadly natural disasters ever recorded.
When the tsunami hit, Martunis was eight years old.
“At first, I stood on a school chair, but when it began to sink, I climbed onto a mattress.”
“I clung to a large tree that was floating on the water when that started sinking as well.” I arrived at the beach thanks to the tree.”
He survived for three weeks on his own after losing his family before being reunited with his father.
His mother and siblings had all passed away.