Drinking Yerba Mate is a well-known tradition for Argentines, Uruguayans, Paraguayans and even Brazilians; so it is not surprising to see footballers from these countries drinking mate tea before a match or even proudly showing their mate kit on Social Media.
But for a foreign player, like the French Antoine Griezmann, to declare himself a fan of yerba mate who drinks it religiously every morning and before each training; certainly grabs our attention!
The unique story of Griezmann and yerba mate starts with the special friendship he has developed with Uruguayan players throughout his career in football. Griezmann says he is a fan of Uruguayan culture, its jargon, its local football and above all, of one of its most genuine traditions: the love for yerba mate.
Throughout his life he has been able to share time with Uruguayan and Argentine players such as Carlos Bueno, Diego Ifrán, “Chory” Castro and coach Martín Lasarte from Real Sociedad club; and then with Diego Godín, José María Giménez and the Argentine coach Diego Simeone in Atlético de Madrid.
Griezmann, who now plays as a forward for FC Barcelona (before: Atlético de Madrid), drinks yerba mate every day and takes his mate kit with him at all times, especially when he goes training or playing. They say Griezmann has learned to prepare yerba mate like an expert.
The player has revealed that Yerba Mate gives him energy and that he drinks it like people would drink tea or coffee; that’s why he always makes sure that he has enough yerba mate.
Griezmann’s story reminds us of this interview with Alice Beretta, the Italian Hockey player who also claims she “cannot live without yerba mate”. However, it’s been world-class football players like Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, who have made Yerba Mate popular on Social Media.
The fact remains that yerba mate is proven to be an excellent ally for sports, giving athletes countless benefits before, during and after their training and also helping their performance on the field; even more than commercial energy drinks.