Matteo wants to do it for Seve

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Matteo Manassero would like nothing more than to honour Seve Ballesteros with a win at the Vivendi Seve Trophy this week.

Matteo Manassero would like nothing more than to honour Seve Ballesteros with a win at the Vivendi Seve Trophy this week.

In the six times the event has been held, Continental Europe has only come out at top on one occasion, and that was in the inaugural tournament back in 2000 when they were led by the late, great Seve Ballesteros himself, the man whose name has now become synonomous with the Trophy.

“Seve was my idol and I never got to know him that well, but I met him once and that meant a lot for me,” he told europeantour.com.

“But it means even more for my first chance in the event to be when we are missing him for the first time. We’re going to hopefully give him a great honour.”

At 18 years of age, Manessero is set to become the youngest ever player to participate in the event when he lines up for Continental Europe against Great Britain & Ireland this week, surpassing previous record holder Sergio Garcia.

For the young Italian, it’s not only a geat honour in itself, but the perfect stepping stone to perhaps making it into the 2012 Ryder Cup side.

“It’s great to be here,” he said. “It’s an honour to be in an event that is named after Seve. So it’s great to be part of this and I think it’s a big step forward towards The Ryder Cup.

“I’m proud and happy to be the youngest to compete in this, and I didn’t even expect it at the beginning of the year. It’s great to be here.”

Manassero also believes captain Jean Van de Velde is the right man to end the run of five successive defeats for Continental Europe.

“The atmosphere is good,” he said. “Jean is a really good captain with a lot of charisma, and knows his golf very well. He’s trying to put up a few tactics that will hopefully work well.

“He’s very funny and he tells jokes. He’s a good captain because he has played serious moments and funny moments, and that’s very important. When you have to speak about something that is important for this match you have to be serious, but you can’t be serious all the time.

“Everybody is looking forward to attempting to win it.”

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