2010 FIFA World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo's World Cup Opener in Pictures
Cristiano Ronaldo came into the 2010 World Cup as the main attacking threat of the Portuguese, but he was largely handcuffed during his side's opener with the Ivory Coast.
The pin-up boy of a nation, Ronaldo will be instrumental in trying to guide Portugal through the so-called Group of Death. Brazil are obvious favorites to top the group, but Portugal will be fighting for the second qualification spot.
Ronaldo is the focus of international attention wherever he goes, and he is never more in the sights of photographers than when he is in full flow on the pitch, running at defenders and weaving his magic.
Here's Ronaldo's opening game in pictures.
Take a Deep Breath
Cristiano Ronaldo came into the World Cup as one of the most prolific players in the tournament. The captain took in the atmosphere during pre-game warm-ups and he had a steely, unwavering focus during the national anthems when his fellow teammates were belting out the words to A Portuguesa.
The eyes of the world will be on this poster boy during the competition, and there's no reason to think he won't shine.
Get Used To This Image
Teams can't really contain Ronaldo. He runs at defenders with incredible pace and his footwork is second to none. He will be one of the most fouled players in the tournament, and this began just six minutes in to the contest with the Ivory Coast when he got his first taste of hitting the turf.
Expect him to spend much more time on his back over the next few weeks.
Ronaldo rolled around as if he'd been shot and Ivory Coast's players had a right to feel aggrieved after replays showed he made the most of the tackle.
Catch Me If You Can
Didier Zokora was left to walk on eggshells for the majority of the match after being booked for this sixth-minute tackle on the Portuguese captain.
Replays showed that Ronaldo went down all too easily, and the booking set the tone for a number of early yellow cards.
Luckily for Ivory Coast, Ronaldo's first sighter at goal from the ensuing free kick was tame and it went off the wall and away to safety.
Keep Your Temper
After getting clipped midway through the first half, Ronaldo goes face to face with several Ivorians including Benjamin Angoua, Kolo Toure, and Didier Zokora. Ronaldo was booked during the exchanges, probably for a remark made to the referee rather than for the exchanges with Angoua.
It Takes Two To Tangle
Guy Demel chops down Ronaldo during the first half as Emmanuel Eboue tries to chase down the Portuguese winger.
Ronaldo tumbled to the ground, but this actually was a foul, unlike an earlier dive which drew the early ire of the Africans.
Portugal's No. 7 can have the ball at his feet one second and then in the blink of an eye the ball is gone and the defender is left to tackle thin air. As was the case here, Ronaldo's legs are somewhere in between.
So Near, Yet So Far Away
Ronaldo can't believe it as his 11th-minute 35-yard strike rattles off the left upright. With criticisms flying left and right about the state of the new World Cup ball, Ronaldo showed his class with a thunderous strike that really deserved to nestle in the back of the net.
It was the best shot of the first half and it would have been one of the best goals of this first round of group matches.
A goalless draw wasn't what either team will have wanted heading into this opening Group of Death encounter, but it's not the worst result for either nation either. It will all come down to how many goals they can hold Brazil to and, like the commentators said during today's telecast, how badly they can beat North Korea.
While Ronaldo was lively and disruptive in the first 45 minutes, he was actually pretty tame in the second half. His best chance of the game came when he rattled the woodwork, but other than that he never really tested the Ivory Coast defense.