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José Maria Olazábal enjoys a cup of Nespresso (Nespresso)

Olazábal knows Miguel will bring ‘pasión’ to Ryder Cup

José Maria Olazábal spent a few minutes over a cup of Nespresso earlier this week to share his thoughts on what Miguel Angel Jimenez brings to the team.

By Gordon Simpson, europeantour.com

The words are almost identical in English and Spanish but José Maria Olazábal enjoys using both to emphasise the most important quality he believes Europe’s Ryder Cup veteran Miguel Angel Jiménez will bring to Colin Montgomerie’s Team in Wales.

“Miguel brings enjoyment and he brings experience to the side” said Olazábal, who has played in seven Ryder Cups and savoured victory on three occasions.

“But most importantly of all, he brings the ‘pasión’ to the team room. You need passion and Miguel has a passion for everything from fast cars to fine wine. There are no half measures with him. What you see is what you get.”

Olazábal was relaxing over a cup of coffee – he is the new golf ambassador for Nestlé Nespresso, one of The 2010 Ryder Cup’s Preferred Suppliers – as he discussed his old friend’s likely contribution.

“Miguel may be 46, but look at his record this year. He has won three times on Tour and always looks as if he is enjoying himself….and he does. He has a great love for life and for the good things in life – his coffee, his cigars, his red wine.

“I honestly can’t think of a more positive person in that European team room than Miguel. He will definitely have a great influence on all the European rookies with his passionate approach to The Ryder Cup.

“Everyone reacts differently in the team room. Some people are noisy and some are quiet. Some are relaxed and some are intense. Miguel has a simple philosophy – he can always see the positive side and make people feel better. Even if things are not going well, he always has a positive word.”

Aside from his duties as Nespresso’s Ambassador at The Celtic Manor Resort, Olazábal intends spending the first day watching the action at close quarters on The Twenty Ten Course although, in typically courteous fashion, he won’t be imposing his views on the European Team.

He will keep a discreet distance from the players he once accompanied inside the ropes with considerable success, and wishes that injury and illness hadn’t impaired his own ambitions to play his way into the side.

“We have a very strong side and a very strong leader” declared Olazábal. “Monty, as a player, was never afraid and I know he will be the same as Captain. He was always first to put up his hand and volunteer to get out there and get a point in the bag and try to inspire his team mates. I always liked that aggression.

“Remember, too, that we have people like Lee (Westwood), Miguel and Ian Poulter to bring that passion to the side. Ian was a great element to the team at Valhalla in 2008 when I was Vice Captain. I was very impressed with him and I think their knowledge can be used to relax the younger players.

“When you first get to a Ryder Cup you don’t know what to expect. Nothing prepares you for it, as Martin Kaymer discovered when he came as a guest two years ago. By the end of the week, he had got the message and I am sure the rookies will begin to grasp what it’s all about during the practice days.

“The Ryder Cup is unique. It means friendship and courage. It provides memories of a lifetime, even if they sometimes hurt. You can’t be on the winning side every time and I went through many experiences with my great friend, Seve.

“I think this match will come down to who shows the most character under pressure. It is sure to be close but I believe Europe can get the Cup back. I think Miguel would enjoy that!”

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