Wednesday November 9 2011
Maggio respects Abate threat

Christian Maggio expects Italy new boy Ignazio Abate to provide him with some tough competition for the right-back spot.

The Napoli ace has been used with some regularity by boss Cesare Prandelli over the last year, while Abate was named in the Azzurri squad for the first time last weekend.

“Abate is a great player,” the former Sampdoria man stated from Coverciano on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ve all seen what great things he has done in the Milan team,” the attacking full-back continued.

“As a result, there is a healthy and positive rivalry between the two of us for a place in the international side.”

Maggio and Abate are the only recognised right-backs named in the party for the friendlies against Poland and Uruguay.

Torino’s Angelo Ogbonna can also play in that role, even if he may be used in the centre given the injury problems which have struck Andrea Barzagli and Andrea Ranocchia over the past few days.

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