Sergio Garcia has backed former playing partner Luke Donald to be Europe’s next Ryder Cup captain.

Donald played in the biennial contest four times, including the record nine-point victories in 2004 and 2006, and was never on the losing side.

The former world number one was also a vice-captain in 2018 and 2021 and received the endorsement of defeated captain Padraig Harrington – who is part of the five-man selection panel – last week.

Garcia and Donald won five of their six matches together in the Ryder Cup and asked if the Englishman would make a good captain, Garcia said: "I think so, yes.

"He has good experience playing and being a vice-captain. I’m sure that he’s a great candidate for it, and he can do a great job if he gets the nod for it. So (I’m) excited to see what’s going to happen there.

"He might seem like a little shy, a little kind of closed, but he’s a wonderful man. He’s quite funny. He’s got a good sense of humour and a big heart, so those are important things to have not only as a captain, but as a person."

Lee Westwood had been favourite to lead Europe’s bid to regain the trophy in Rome in 2023 following the record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits, but ruled himself out of the running in order to concentrate on his playing career.

Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson are the other candidates for the role which will be decided by the three most recent captains – Harrington, Thomas Bjorn and Darren Clarke – along with DP World Tour player director David Howell and chief executive Keith Pelley.