Drinking Yerba Mate is a popular habit for Argentinians, Uruguayans, Paraguayans and Brazilians, so it’s not surprising to find football players from these places having mate tea before a match or even proudly posting their mate kit on social media.
However, for a foreign player like Antoine Griezmann from France to call himself a yerba mate fan that has it religiously every morning, and prior to each training session, for sure calls our attention!
The special case of Griezmann and yerba mate begins with the unique friendship he has built with Uruguayan footballers all through his career in football. Griezmann states he’s a fan of Uruguayan culture, its argot, its football and, especially, of one of the most authentic habits: the passion for yerba mate.
All through his life, he has spent time with players from Uruguay and Argentina, like Carlos Bueno, Diego Ifrán, “Chory” Castro, as well as coach Martín Lasarte from Real Sociedad club. Also with Diego Godín, José María Giménez and Argentinian coach Diego Simeone in Atlético de Madrid.
Griezmann, who is currently playing as a forward for FC Barcelona – before that, Atlético de Madrid – has mate on a daily basis and takes his kit along wherever he goes, especially when he goes to a training session or a match. It is said that Griezmann learnt to make yerba mate like a professional.
The footballer has disclosed that Yerba Mate gives him energy and that he takes it just as people have tea or coffee – that is why he must always have enough yerba.
Griezmann’s case reminds us of the interview with Alice Beretta, the hockey player from Italy that also states she “can’t live without yerba mate”. Nevertheless, it’s been world-class footballers such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez that made Yerba Mate well-known on social media.
The fact is that yerba mate has been proved to be a perfect ally for sports, providing sportspeople with endless benefits before, during and after their training session and, at the same time, boosting their performance while playing – even more than commercial energy drinks.