Saturday September 7 2013
Maggio: 'Benitez helps Azzurri'

Christian Maggio admits Rafa Benitez’s tactics are “helpful” for his Italy performances in a four-man defence.

“We knew this was a very difficult test, though not perhaps this difficult. In the end it went well, as we closed down spaces and got the result,” he said of the Azzurri’s 1-0 win over Bulgaria.

“It’s a shame about the injuries, but that’s part of this sport and you have to be ready at any moment to give your all.”

Benitez has scrapped Walter Mazzarri’s 3-4-2-1 system at Napoli and Maggio confirms the practice as a right-back is making him a better player for Italy.

“It’s certainly helpful that I am now playing in a four-man defence at club level, so with Benitez I have the opportunity to improve in that role.

“Before coming to Napoli, I was a right-back at Sampdoria and thought I did it pretty well. Of course it’s normal that after three years with a three-man defence it is trickier to make the change, but I can do both.

“This team is built around midfield players of great quality, so the Coach has the opportunity to vary his options there.

“Cesare Prandelli has pretty much always used four at the back, so it’s only to be expected that’s the approach he’d take.”