Europe’s Ryder Cup players chanted “two more years” at Luke Donald as they implored him to stay on and captain the side for the 2025 edition in New York.
Donald, appointed captain in August 2022, masterminded a 16½-11½ victory over the United States in Rome.
Bernard Gallacher was the last European to serve consecutive terms – losing two and winning once between 1991-1995.
“Luke has done an unbelievable job and would be difficult to live up to. He’s set the bar so high,” said Jon Rahm.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy added: “I think everyone sitting here would be very happy to have him again.”
Shane Lowry, Matt Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood were among the players to chant “two more years” at Donald, as the triumphant European captain began his speech at the trophy presentation.
Donald, 45, was only offered the captaincy after Henrik Stenson was ousted from the post when he joined LIV Golf.
He is not certain to still be in the role when Europe travel to Bethpage Black in New York in two years, despite orchestrating a superb response to Europe’s record 19-9 defeat at Whistling Straits in 2021.
The Englishman was keen to avoid discussing the topic during Europe’s winning news conference before saying – when egged on by his players – he had not “been asked yet” to do a second stint.
“Quiet confidence is what Luke has been this week,” added four-time major champion McIlroy, who top-scored for Europe with four points.
“He doesn’t have to say many words. The words that he does say are impactful and he’s been amazing this week.”
Fleetwood added: “We’re all so proud of him. From when this whole process started, he’s been so, so good. The way he’s been this week has been phenomenal. We just look at Luke on another level.”
In the build-up to the 44th staging of golf’s biggest team event, there had been question marks over some of Donald’s selections and just how his four debutants would fare in the pressure-cooker arena of a Ryder Cup.
However, Scotland’s Bob MacIntyre went unbeaten, winning two and a half points from three matches, while Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg picked up two, Sepp Straka won a point and Nicolai Hojgaard claimed half a point.
Ireland’s Lowry, whose form and inclusion had come under scrutiny when Donald picked him as one of his six wildcard selections, delivered one and half points, with his fiery and fighting spirit seemingly inspiring his team-mates.
“[They were] Outstanding. Every single one of them took something,” added world number three and reigning Masters champion Rahm, who at 28, is arguably the seen as the figurehead of a new generation of European players.
“Bob went unbeaten. Ludvig won two of his matches with Viktor [Hovland]. They did an unbelievable job. It’s not easy being a rookie and coming out here and showing why you deserve to be here.
“The future is bright I would say. There were some possible question marks and I think we have proved the talent is there and the junior generation is looking bright.”
These players are here to stay
Donald’s team arrived in Rome without several stalwarts from previous matches against the US.
Sergio Garcia, Europe’s record points scorer with 28½ from 10 appearances, Ian Poulter, who won five of his seven starts, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey were all unavailable after joining LIV and resigning from the DP World Tour.
However, the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club provided a definitive sign of progression away from the old guard.
“Not many people gave us a chance after Whistling Straits. We were big underdogs,” said Donald.
“We started to show some form in the last six months, and I couldn’t be happier with the team I got. I think these guys will be around for a long time, and we’re going to put up a great fight in two years.”