Rory McIlroy is backing pal Paul McGinley for the 2014 Ryder Cup captaincy.

Rory in action The odd couple Irish pair will team up for the first time with skipper McGinley banking on McIlroy to lead from the front when Britain and Ireland clash with the Continentals for the Vivendi Trophy this week.

And while McIlroy has yet to see the Dubliner’s captaincy skills up close, he is convinced that the three-time Ryder Cup hero is the ideal man to lead Europe at Gleneagles in five years’ time.

McIlroy said: “Paul is very passionate. He has been excited about the Vivendi Trophy for a while now and I think he’d make a great Ryder Cup captain.

“He is very excited with the young squad he has with me and Chris Wood in there. He is just excited to be in that role and he’ll be brilliant.

“It has been an ambition of his for a while to be Ryder Cup captain and it will be a great way to start his captaincy career.”

McIlroy, 20, and McGinley, 43, might look like the odd couple but the ISM stablemates have been pals for some time.

As McIlroy explained: “He’s been one of guys on tour that I’ve gone to for advice if I’ve needed it and he’s always made time for me.”

As for McGinley, the Dubliner is massively impressed with what he has seen from the Holywood idol and reckons that Race to Dubai leader Martin Kaymer is the only young gun who comes close to match the kid he regards as the best young player in the world.

McGinley said: “He is brilliant and he has got the confidence to go with it. All the hype is justified.

“His game is so good and he is confident. How can you not be confident with the game he has?

“He hits it over 300 yards and he's pretty straight. He putts and chips brilliantly and he plays with no fear. When you put that package together it is pretty formidable.

“People always talk about Rory being the best young player in the world - and he is too. But look at Martin Kaymer and what he has achieved - think of the tournaments he has won quietly, under the radar.

“Martin doesn’t get the exposure the other guys get. Guys like Ryo Ishikawa and Danny Lee, they are not in Rory’s league in my opinion.”

While the injured Kaymer will not be on Thomas Bjorn’s side in Paris, Continental Europe are the odds on favourites to beat McGinley’s weakened British and Irish team for the first time since the inaugural Seve Trophy in 2000.

Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Justin Rose are all missing for the holders but McGinley is excited about his chance to show off his captaincy skills.

He said: “I am not going to be nervous and I am really looking forward to it. I have played under great captains in Ryder Cups and Seve Trophies and Royal Trophies.

“I have learned a lot and I have ideas. I think I’m going to like it. I know I have some strong views. I’m interested to see if those views turn the team into being successful. But I want to enjoy it.”

Thursday- Sunday - Vivendi Trophy, Golf de Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche

Great Britain and Ireland: Rory McIlroy, Ross Fisher, Oliver Wilson, Graeme McDowell, Chris Wood, Simon Dyson, Robert Rock, Nick Dougherty, Steve Webster, Anthony Wall.

Continental Europe: Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Soren Kjeldsen, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Soren Hansen, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Alvaro Quiros, Peter Hanson, Anders Hansen, Francesco Molinari.