Stefan de Vrij believes Antonio Conte’s famous 3-5-2 system was critical in helping Inter become Serie A champions.

Inter won the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years last month, having blown away their rivals with an astonishing run of form after Christmas.

De Vrij formed part of the Nerazzurri’s impenetrable back three alongside Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni, which ended the season as Serie A’s best defence.

“At Inter, we reached the Scudetto as a result of two years’ hard work with this system,” the Inter defender explained to reporters (via, after the Netherlands drew 2-2 with Scotland in a Euro 2020 warm-up match on Wednesday.

“You need to work on it (3-5-2) a lot, for a long time: that’s the only way you can make the system work perfectly.”

De Vrij is coached by Inter’s former boss Frank de Boer with the Dutch national team, who replaced Ronald Koeman after he left for Barcelona last summer.

The Netherlands tried using a 3-5-2 system for their match against Scotland and not everything went to plan, as De Boer’s men were held to a disappointing draw.

De Vrij played 85 minutes in Portugal and explained: “It was the first time we played with 3-5-2 and you saw lots of good things, but also lots of things that could be improved.

“You need to be in sync with the whole defence with this system, the communication becomes critical.

“You can’t always step forwards and you can’t just break the defensive line, first you need to position yourself correctly.”