In a move that has gone under the radar in the last week, the Real Madrid centre half Ricardo Carvalho has retired from international football with immediate affect.
The reason behind the former Chelsea players actions are believed to be behind Paulo Bento's decision to leave the 32 year old defender out of the starting XI in Portugal's Euro 2012 qualifier with Cyprus on Friday.
The move comes as a huge shock, with Carvalho a key part of the Portugal set up. The defenders form for Real Madrid has been impressive and forged a strong partnership with fellow Portugese star Pepe, something that the former Sporting Lisbon manager Bento, felt the need to break up, with Bruno Alves starting ahead of Carvalho.
Carvalho didn't take the decision to not select him well stating "Never before have I felt as disrespected or my dignity so hurt, the only option was to leave.” And despite the dramatic scenes surrounding the game, Portugal eased to a 4-0 victory with Cristiano Ronaldo again grabbing the headlines with another two goals.
One thing for sure is that Portugal have a fine array of centre halves avaliable to them, with Porto's Rolando completing the four centre halves Bento choose for the doubled headed qualifiers, and with the decision to not play Carvalho a tactical one, it is clear Bento believes the likes of Alves and Rolando are able to step into the gapping hole left by Carvalho.
Despite turning Portugal's Euro 2012 campaign around, winning all four of his qualifiers in charge, after they had only managed one point from their opening two games when Carlos Querioz was in charge, Bento's time in charge of Portugal has been a tempermental one, falling out with Jose Boswinga, again for failing to select the defender, as well as Carvalho.