Portugal were without the Real Madrid ace when they won both legs of the play-off against Bosnia which finally booked their place in the finals.
Deco, 32, said: "Nowadays you just don't get big teams depending on just one player.
"We won several games without Cristiano and, equally, we've won games with him on the field.
"Manchester United have done very well since Ronaldo left, Madrid have won games without him, as have Portugal.
"Of course you notice the absence of any great player, but the Portuguese national side isn't dependent on him. It's only natural that teams want their best players available and miss them when they're not."