However, with Ronaldo in your side, you always have a chance and on 88 minutes, after being fouled by Gerard Piqué, the superstar dusted himself off before producing the most outstanding free-kick to complete his hat-trick.
Spain, who were rocked by the sudden dismissal of head coach Julen Lopetegui, will look to put their problems in the past when they face Cristiano Ronaldo-led Portugal in their opening game of the FIFAWorld Cup 2018 in Sochi on Friday.
In the first Iberian derby for almost six years, it took just four minutes for Ronaldo to provide a spark.
The World Cup had been a somewhat frustrating stage for the 33-year-old despite his steady consistency, but his conversion rate after 45 minutes of the first game was frightening: two goals in three shots.
Spain and Portugal put on an incredible 90 minutes of football and it's going to take some beating. Not to be done, Ronaldo retaliated with another tally, making the Portuguese captain the first player to score in four World Cups.
The records just keep tumbling for Cristiano Ronaldo as he set a new worldwide landmark just minutes into his World Cup campaign on Friday.
But it was Ronaldo's second goal, a relatively tame shot from outside the box, that's seen de Gea fall under a wave of criticism.
Spain struggled to contain Portugal's counterattacks, but it showed it remained a solid team despite Lopetegui's absence. He also expressed his hopes that Ronaldo would still be around and scoring goals in Qatar in four years' time.
"We feel very proud of the players", said Spain boss Fernando Hierro.
On his 36th outing at a major worldwide tournament, however, Ronaldo sent a free kick up and over the wall to beat David de Gea for a third time, meaning that the Group B spoils were shared at the Fisht Olympic Stadium.
First Diego Costa scored a poacher's goal off a set piece, before Nacho struck a bouncing ball perfectly for an outside-spinning volley that hit the post before rolling in. Meanwhile, this will be second encounter between Portugal and Spain in the World Cup.