Carvalho quits international game

LISBON - Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho retired from international football on Wednesday ahead of their Euro 2012 qualifier against Cyprus, with state news agency Lusa quoting him as saying he was "disrespected" before he abandoned the squad's training camp.

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) earlier said the player would not travel to Nicosia for Friday's match after he left the training camp without offering an explanation to the federation or to coach Paulo Bento.

"I feel in full physical and mental form, as I have shown for my club and country, but if I am made to feel unnecessary and am not told so, then the only way is out," Carvalho said in a statement carried by Lusa.

The 33-year-old Real Madrid centre-back did not explain what happened at the camp and media reports saying he left because he felt he would not be in the starting line-up were unconfirmed.

No one at the FPF was immediately available to comment.

"Having earned 75 caps and been deeply dedicated in defending the national side's reputation, I have never before felt so disrespected and wounded in my dignity.

"Among my peers I am just another athlete, but like others I deserve consideration and respect," he said.

Carvalho made his debut for Portugal under Luiz Felipe Scolari in 2003 and played in the 2004 and 2008 European Championships as well as the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

At club level, the reliable defender won several titles for Porto and Chelsea before moving to Real last summer.

Portugal are top of Euro 2012 qualifying Group H level with Denmark and Norway on 10 points.