Gareth Barry has hailed the composure of Manchester City and England team-mate Wayne Bridge after his Stamford Bridge ordeal.
Bridge was thrust into the media spotlight when allegations emerged of an extra-marital affair between former Chelsea team-mate John Terry and the mother of Bridge's child.
Terry was stripped of the England captaincy ahead of this summer's World Cup while Bridge was left to ponder his own situation.
And fearing his presence in South Africa could create tension in the England camp and divide the squad, Bridge declared himself unavailable for international duty.
Whether Bridge would shake hands with Terry before Saturday's game between City and Chelsea - their first meeting since the story broke - was the subject of much speculation.
And after snubbing a handshake with the Chelsea captain before the Stamford Bridge clash, the former Blues defender was booed during the game by the home crowd.
City went on to upset the league leaders by pulling off a 4-2 win and after the game midfielder Barry called for some understanding for Bridge.
"Of course, I am sad to see Wayne has pulled out of the England squad," he said.
"He is a great player and would improve the squad and team when he plays.
"But like many other people have said, I respect his decision.
"You can't imagine yourself in that position and what you'd do unless it happens to you.
"Being the person Wayne is, he didn't want to rub anything in.
"He used to play for Chelsea, he kept his emotions to himself and his performance was brilliant."
There have been concerns that even with Bridge ruling himself out of consideration, there could still be some animosity towards Terry from his friends within the England squad.
But Barry is hopeful they will conduct themselves in the same manner Bridge has throughout the saga.
"It's personal issues and as professionals you have to put it aside," he added.
"Once we are together it will all be forgotten and we will try to win a game of football because that is what it is all about."
Bridge will not be considered for Wednesday's friendly against Egypt at Wembley but it is thought coach Fabio Capello will then try to persuade the 29-year-old to reverse his decision.