Fabio Capello has insisted the choice of John Terry as England captain was his alone.
Capello made his announcement to the England squad after training yesterday, just an hour before the rest of the world found out.
Not even his coaches were aware of the Italian's decision, which is just the way Capello likes it.
'I always speak with my staff and ask different questions,' he said.
'I had a chat with Stuart Pearce and Ray Clemence because I prefer to see both sides of everything.
'But the last decision is mine, always.'
Capello denied Terry, who pipped Rio Ferdinand to the role he was first handed under Steve McClaren, was undroppable.
And he defended the decision to name four different captains - Terry, Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham - for his first four games in charge before reaching his verdict ahead of tonight's friendly with the Czech Republic.
'I could only choose once I knew all the players, so it was very important to let people try,' said Capello.
'One player might be good, another might be not so good. I had to look for myself.'
Even Terry admitted he expected Ferdinand to be handed the task of steering the Three Lions through a tough-looking World Cup qualifying campaign.
The 27-year-old quickly recovered his composure to tell of his pride at being asked to fill the role, pledging to learn lessons from the failed attempt to reach Euro 2008.
And he put Ferdinand forward as the example his team-mates must follow.
'You hear little whispers and given the form Rio has been in and what Manchester United have achieved, I did think he would get it,' admitted Terry.
'It was a bit nerve-wracking and I was actually standing next to Rio when Fabio told us all after training.
'The first thing he did was turn to me and shake my hand. That is a measure of the kind of guy he is.
'He is an unbelievable player and provides the sort of an example we can all learn from.'
Capello confirmed the number one factor in plumping for Terry was the Chelsea man's strength of character.
Just seven days after his Champions League nightmare, Terry excelled during his one audition as England skipper under Capello, scoring a goal as well to end any doubts about his mental state.
'To bounce back like I did after that huge disappointment; maybe showed the manager what kind of character I am. Maybe that persuaded him,' said Terry.