New Sporting Lisbon recruit Martunis failed to be selected for Indonesia’s Under 17s team

Many of us were wondering whether 17-year-old tsunami survivor Martunis signing for Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon was down to the youngster’s talents at soccer.

(READ: How soccer saved a boy’s future: Aceh tsunami survivor Martunis joins Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon

Now there are doubts that Martunis is actually any good, after it was revealed that he never even made the grade in Indonesia.

Munawardi Ismail, Martunis’ adoptive brother, said Martunis actually tried out to join the Indonesian Under 17s national team in 2013.

“But he wasn’t picked. During the physical selection he looked exhausted. He said he stayed up all night [the previous night],” Munawardi said, as quoted by Tempo yesterday. 

We hope that Martunis was actually exhausted on the day and that it wasn’t just a convenient excuse. Because if he doesn’t have the talent to succeed in Indonesia, it’s almost impossible to succeed in Portugal. Should he fail there, Martunis will be nothing but a poster child for Sporting Lisbon’s corporate social responsibility department. 

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