Modern-day Ballesteros among 5 Team Europe Ryder Cup legends

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With a little over a week to go before the masses descend on Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup, we’ve already brought you the five legends the USA team may look to for inspiration.

Now it’s the turn of the Europeans, who have a host of decorated Ryder Cup golfers among their recent history:

Nick Faldo

No player has featured in more Ryder Cups, contested more matches or won more points than Faldo, whose record in the tournament stands at an astounding 23-19-4.

The Englishman won five of the 11 events he took part in, with the 1995 competition at Oak Hill providing his defining moment:

Tony Jacklin

Jacklin never won the Ryder Cup in seven attempts as a player, but experienced far more joy when putting the clubs down as a non-playing captain.

The only man to win the Cup as captain more than once, Jacklin’s record from the four events he skippered reads as two wins, one tie (which retained Europe the trophy) and a loss.

Colin Montgomerie

Unlike the previous two entries in this list, Monty managed to take his impressive playing record (20-9-7) into his role as skipper.

His 2010 squad won back the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, after Faldo had lost it two years earlier, with a narrow 14 ½ – 13 ½ win.

That’s on top of his record of never losing a singles match, which isn’t a bad feat.

Seve Ballesteros

The mercurial Spaniard embodied the European’s team-play during his eight Ryder Cups and struck up a fearsome partnership with countryman Jose Maria Olazabal, which still stands as the greatest in the event’s history with just two losses in 11 matches.

Ian Poulter

Perhaps Team Europe’s closest Ballesteros clone in the modern day is Poulter, who holds the highest winning percentage in the continent’s history of anyone to have played more than two matches. He’s 6/1 to be the side’s leading point-scorer at Gleneagles.

Plus he does stuff like this:

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.