He said: "I felt it was the right time for me to go for it".
'You could look at this as being a natural progression from player to vice-captain to captain but it's not something I take on without a certain amount of trepidation.
"I think it will mean a lot, it's a great honour for him", two-time Ryder Cup player Des Smyth told RTÉ Sport.
"He's been a great ambassador for the country and golf and I'm sure he's going to do a great job for Europe as well".
"It really came down to whether I wanted to be in the hat and put what is a successful career, put it on the line".
He has got great experience in the U.S., so he won't be intimidated.
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Europe's dominance of the foursomes was also key as they won six out of eight matches in the format that sees two players take alternate shots with one ball.
Harrington has a wealth of experience when it comes to the Ryder Cup. He loves the Ryder Cup.
Harrington, who hoisted the trophy four times during an illustrious playing career, can only dream his men will unleash such heroics on the greens and fairways in America when he leads them into the fray.
A victor in four of his six Ryder Cup appearances as a player, Harrington was also a vice-captain in 2014 and 2016 under Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke.
"I know we are going to a new venue, it's an away match".
Harrington, who is now out of action after slipping and breaking a bone in his wrist, says selecting five vice-captains is "a must" and now favours three wildcard picks.
"I know taking on the Ryder Cup captaincy is a different thing, it's a different level and I'm conscious that I have to find that edge and add to it. You just have to know the man behind the scenes".
"You don't get that day-in, day-out".
Harrington himself is a 50/1 chance to qualify automatically for the team, while Sergio Garcia is an odds-on 1/3 shot to be part of Harrington's line-up, despite an infamous frosty relationship with the captain which was said to have improved after clear-the-air talks.