Gareth Bale has dismissed Roy Hodgson’s claim that he was being disrespectful when he said Wales had more passion and pride than England ahead of their Euro 2016 showdown.
Bale also said before Wales’ opening Group B victory over Slovakia that England “big themselves up before they’ve done anything”, and Three Lions boss Hodgson responded by describing those remarks as “disrespectful”.
But Bale said he stood by his comments as he addressed the media ahead of the England and Wales game in Lens on Thursday.
“It’s good that they bit,” Bale said. “People can say what they want.
“Someone said I disrespected England, which wasn’t the case.
“I never said that they didn’t have passion and pride, I just feel that we have more.
“Whether it’s football or rugby or whatever sport it is, in Wales we seem to have that next level.
“We really feel it on the pitch, watching the games. I’m just giving my opinion.
“I’m happy with my comments. I feel we’ve got a massive team spirit, one of the best I’ve seen and I stand byn my words.”