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Updated: June 6, 2010 16:29 IST

Ronaldo arrives for the World Cup

DPA
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Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo walks over the tarmac upon the team's arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
AP Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo walks over the tarmac upon the team's arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portuguese teammates landed in South Africa on Sunday, where the arrival of the 25-year-old Real Madrid star fuelled mounting excitement in the host country five days before kick-off.

Team Portugal landed at Johannesburg’ OR Tambo International Airport shortly before noon local time.

As with all the teams, their arrival was off-bounds to the public.

Team arrivals accelerated over the weekend: France, Mexico, South Korea, Uruguay, Japan and the Netherlands arrived over the past two days and fanned out to their camps around the country.

By Sunday lunchtime, 17 of the visiting 31 teams had arrived.

New Zealand, Greece and Algeria were expected later in the day.

Carlos Queiroz’s men will be based at the four-star Valley Lodge on the banks of the Magalies river, 75 kilometres west of Johannesburg, and will be training at a nearby high school.

Portugal has never won a World Cup. Their best showing in their previous four World Cup appearances was third place in 1966.

The team has been drawn along five-time champions Brazil, upstart African side Cote d’Ivoire and relative unknowns North Korea in Group G.

The Portugal-Brazil game in Durban is one of the most-eagerly anticipated of the tournament.

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