Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley says he was served a timely reminder of the dangers of being tagged as favourites with Donegal’s shock win over Dublin.
Keen football fan McGinley has finalised his side for the Gleneagles event, a tournament in which his side will enter as favourites to retain their title, memorably won in the most dramatic of style in Medina two years ago.
But McGinley recognises that favouritism can mean little on the day, as witnessed in Croke Park on Sunday when 10/1-on Dublin were blown out of the water by the Ulster champions.
McGinley told RTÉ Sport: “We all saw [it] with Dublin-Donegal last weekend. I know Jim Gavin and he would have prepared that Dublin team incredibly well and incredibly strongly, trained them very well.
“He would have had a very strong strategy too and going out such heavy favourites, they still get beaten.
“That is sport, that’s what happens at the top level. Sometimes it just goes against you.
"I am aware that could happen to this European team as well but my job is to lessen the odds of that happening, and have the team very prepared, mentally and physically.
“But Jim Gavin would have done that with Dublin too, and they went out and got beaten, so that’s what you’re dealing with when you are dealing with top-level sport.”
"That is sport, that’s what happens at the top level. Sometimes it just goes against you"
On his own team, to which he added Ian Poulter, Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood to the automatic picks, the Dubliner said: “I don’t think we’re serious favourites, I think we will be favourites but it’s something we should be proud of.
“It’s a very strong team. We have the world number one in Rory McIlroy. We’ve Martin Kaymer winning the US Open.
"We should rejoice in that and be happy with that but we’re under no illusions as to how strong this American team will be.”