By Gabriel Tan
First, let us just clarify that, along with the many millions around the globe, we regard Ronaldo as one of the top-two players in the world (we don't have to say who the other one is, do we) and as an individual, there is no one quite comparable with regards to what he can bring to a side.
Blessed with the speed of a 100-metre sprinter and capable of getting the ball to do his bidding with the slightest of touches, the 27-year-old also packs the most ferocious shot in the game and is one of the best headers of the world.
To put it simply, when you dissect a player down to his individual attributes, even Lionel Messi would probably pale in comparison to the footballing specimen that is Ronaldo.
Now that we've got that out of the way, let us delve deeper into why, for all his goal-scoring and La Liga-winning exploits with Real Madrid, he may not actually be good for A Seleccao.
An unhealthy reliance on the talismanic captain
Of course, when a player has just scored 60 goals in the recently-concluded season plying his trade for one of Europe's biggest sides, it's easy for his team-mates to just pass him the ball and expect the magic to naturally come.
However, Portugal's insistence on getting the ball to him at every opportunity made it easy for the Czechs to outnumber him and win back possession, which explained Michal Bilek's side's dominance in the opening stages of the game.
One only has to look back at Sweden's shock 2-0 win over France on Tuesday for the best way to get your star player involved, without expecting him to do everything on his own.
Just because the Swedes were aware that the AC Milan striker was the one world-class player in their team did not mean they fed him the ball all the time and expected him to provide a moment of inspiration.
Instead, Erik Hamren's charges opted to play the ball down the flanks as often as they did through the centre, and only chose to give the ball to Ibrahimovic when he was indeed the best available option. The fact that Ola Toivonen and Sebastian Larsson received plenty of the ball meant the French defenders had to devote some of their attention to the Swedish wing duo, allowing the Sweden captain more time and space to work with. As it turned out, Ibrahimovic played a pivotal role as his side stunned Les Bleus with a clinical victory.
On the other hand, despite having one of the Barclays Premier League's most-dangerous wingers in Nani as an alternate option down the other flank, the Portuguese kept feeding the ball to the left and at times, Ronaldo could be seen fighting a losing battle against Theodor Gebre Selassie, Tomas Sivok and Michal Kadlec, all this while Nani was odds-on favourite to beat David Limbersky in a one-on-one situation on the right. If only the ball had been delivered in that direction...
Portugal's perpetual failure to produce a world-class striker
When Ronaldo first burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old playing for Sporting Lisbon, he gained a reputation as one of Europe's most-talented young wingers, and it was this position where Sir Alex Ferguson saw him playing in when Manchester United forked out €15million for him to replace David Beckham in the summer of 2003.
During his time at Old Trafford, his natural ability to get himself into goal-scoring positions and put the ball into the back of the net gradually saw him shifted further up the field, but while he now plays most of the time like an out-and-out striker, many still believe he does his best work from a wide position, where he can cut inside and fire a blistering shot away with either foot.
Bento is one such person who appears to feel that is where his captain can cause the most damage and has played him there since he took charge of the national side in 2010, but what the Portugal boss fails to realise is that he doesn't have the necessary personnel for Ronaldo to play off.
At United, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov regularly drew the attention away from the ex-Sporting prodigy, while at Real, Ronaldo currently has Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria to work with.
Portugal, on the other hand, have arguably failed to produce a world-class striker since the legendary Eusebio and even players like Pauleta and Nuno Gomes found the back of the net more from good fortune rather than natural scoring ability.
At least when Pauleta and Nuno Gomes were still playing for A Seleccao, they were able to score their fair share of goals, unlike current first-choice striker Helder Postiga, who flopped so miserably in the Premier League with Tottenham that he was shipped back to Porto after just one season, having scored one goal in 24 appearances.
One only has to look at the 39 minutes Postiga managed to stay on the field against the Czechs to understand why it's even easier for opponents to target Ronaldo, when the person in the box he's meant to be crossing the ball to can't even get it under control. Postiga's replacement, Hugo Almeida, failed to fare any better and looked more interested in leaving bruises on his opponents, while 20-year-old Nelson Oliveira has not been given an extended run in the side and is yet to prove his international worth.
What all this means is that when Ronaldo gets the ball down the left and looks up and sees a team-mate in the box he knows is unlikely to hit the back of the net, he decides to take it upon himself to find a route to goal. Unfortunately, football is ultimately a team game and even he would find it difficult to get past an entire backline by himself, especially at a major tournament like the European Championship.
Why Ronaldo is good for Portugal
Now that we've explained why Ronaldo may be bad for Portugal because of his style of play and the role he is expected to fulfil for the national team, and not because of the world-class albeit selfish player he is, let us go into why this all-conquering forward who is reaching his peak is good for A Seleccao.
For one, he is arguably the world's best player and, as we mentioned earlier, is genuinely capable of winning a game off his own two feet. Whether or not he can do it against top sides remains to be seen, although he will get a real chance of proving that in the semi-finals, regardless of whether Spain or France are Portugal's opponents.
Secondly, one would argue that, for all his self-centred ways, Ronaldo is in fact the best candidate for Portugal captain. Granted, it's never ideal to see your leader throw his hands in the air scream when a pass isn't released quickly enough, nor have him ignore a team-mate in a more-open position in order to have a speculative attempt from 40 yards out.
But there have always been two kinds of captains: those who lead, and those who inspire. Ronaldo is never going to belong to the former. Players like Roy Keane and Tony Adams, who were able to convince their men to bleed for them because they would be willing to do the same.
Instead, the 27-year-old is more similar to Alan Shearer - a man who wouldn't say much, but who would spur his troops on to greater heights with the incredible feats he would perform.
On Wednesday, Portugal head into their semi-final tie knowing they are just 90 minutes away from only their second final appearance at a major tournament. The last time they challenged for a major trophy, they fell to surprise package Greece at Euro 2004 - a tournament where Ronaldo was a real star at.
Considering the teams left in the competition, it isn't going to be easy and Portugal could very well find themselves as the underdogs in all of their remaining matches.
However, they do have one of the best players in the world leading the charge, and if Bento plays his cards right this time, Ronaldo could just be good for Portugal. Very good.