Paul McGinley is still on a high from watching the Olympics, but does not have to wait long to witness what is sure to be another thrilling sporting event.

The Dubliner was actually at the closing ceremony in London when European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal rang and asked him to be one of his assistants in Chicago next month.

"If we can somehow get close to matching the Olympics I think it will be great. It's the most exciting thing I've ever seen," McGinley said.

The 45-year-old is now turning his attentions to trying to beat the Americans again - something he knows an awful lot about.

Three appearances as a player brought three victories, including his match-winning putt on his debut at The Belfry in 2002, and he was also part of Colin Montgomerie's backroom team for the nail-biting triumph at Celtic Manor two years ago.

McGinley believes Europe's chances of retaining the trophy have been given a huge boost in the past two weeks, first by Rory McIlroy winning the USPGA Championship and then by Sergio Garcia sealing his cup place by capturing his first PGA Tour title for four years.

"Rory winning was very, very important - psychologically it was big for our team and also a bit of a blow for the Americans to see us returning to form a bit," he said.

"And Sergio winning was phenomenal too. We lost a bit of momentum to them over the summer, but the last two weeks things have turned around.

"It's going to be a really, really tight Ryder Cup. I put it on a par with The Belfry - I think we did incredibly well to win that one."