Given his grounding in the game under the tutelage of Edy Reja at Vicenza, Christian Maggio first got to grips with Serie A at the tender age of 18. A versatile presence on the right wing, where he can operate either as a full-back or a winger, Maggio is a noted grafter who has made almost constant progress, as well as being one of the brightest talents of his generation.
After a short stay at Fiorentina and a loan spell with Treviso, he developed a whole new dimension to his game upon joining Sampdoria in 2006. Fitting in perfectly with the club’s tactical approach, he enjoyed more and more space on the right flank and weighed in with nine goals from 29 appearances in 2007/08. Those showings prompted a reunion with Reja at Napoli, where Maggio netted four goals during the opening stages of the following season, three of which proved winners.
The national side duly took note and Maggio received his first call-up in October 2008, though he had to wait until 29 November the same year before finally taking to the field for the Azzurri. With Greece Italy’s opponents in a friendly, the newcomer came on to claim his first cap as a substitute for Mauro Camoranesi.
Not long after that breakthrough, on 8 March 2009, Maggio’s wings were clipped by injury as he suffered ligament damage in his right knee and had to remain on the sidelines for six months.
He came back strongly, however, and continued making strides both with Napoli, for whom he rattled in a number of spectacular goals, and the Azzurri, winning caps against Sweden on 18 November 2009 and Cameroon on 3 March this year. His flexibility and potential to improve even further make him a valuable member of Marcello Lippi’s squad.