Wales manager Chris Coleman has dismissed suggestions that Gareth Bale should focus on his club career as 'nonsense'.
Former England international Chris Waddle has stated that Bale is more likely to secure success at club level than feature in a major tournament for Wales, having enjoyed a period of red-hot form for Tottenham Hotspur this season.
However, Coleman was disappointed by the comments and says nobody should doubt the hunger that Bale has to succeed with his country.
"Gareth is passionate about playing for Wales. When he's here he gives his best, he's either scoring goals or making goals and obviously loves being here," said Coleman, who has selected Bale in his squad for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Scotland and Croatia.
"You have people who will come out and say things, and it's surprising someone who has played international football as Chris did for England has come out and said things like that.
"I am sure he was passionate about playing for England, so why is Wales any different?
"Alright, we haven't qualified (for a major finals) since 1958 but we're a small nation and it will always be hard.
"Does that mean we can't be passionate about playing for our country, playing in every game and wanting to win every game?
"Does it mean if we don't qualify it doesn't matter? It's nonsense. Whoever you play for or play against for your country it means something and it does for Gareth."
A massive game
Coleman was also less than impressed with former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage, who described the meeting with Scotland as "not a huge game" given how far the sides are off the pace in Group A.
"I can't control what's said outside our camp and I'm not too bothered what's said," added Coleman.
"But I've said before, I've never been involved in a game for Wales where it didn't matter. I was quite surprised by the comments that there's nothing on it - there's always something on it when you play for your country as simple as that, it is in my book.
"It's never nothing in an international game. Against Austria it was a friendly but there was still something on it.
"It's a massive game, huge. We're going there to get points and I will take our strongest side to do it."