Leighton James column: Gareth Bale must be strong and play for Wales
GARETH Bale's international commitment will be tested by Real Madrid — but he must put his foot down and play for Wales.
Some have suggested Bale might appear less often for his country in future as Madrid will not be keen for their player to turn out for Chris Coleman's side.
When a club has paid such a staggering fee — reportedly £86 million — to land a player, I can understand them being protective over their investment.
But Bale must be strong.
It doesn't matter how big the fee, no-one has the right to stop a player representing his country.
Only once did someone try to prevent me from turning up for Wales when I was a young professional at Burnley — and they got short shrift.
I said I was going whether they liked it or not, and Gareth seems to be of a similar mindset.
To report for Wales duty a day after his Madrid unveiling was an impressive effort.