Soccer fans around the world know that their idol Lionel Messi, as well as many other soccer stars in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil; love to drink Yerba Mate before going on the field and proudly show their Mate on social networks.
But Yerba Mate is also becoming popular among top players beyond these countries. Messi from Argentina, Suarez from Uruguay, Griezmann from France, and now the scorer Wu Lei of RCD Espanyol (first Chinese soccer player to score against FC Barcelona in any European competition), who caused a stir in Chinese Media by posting a photo of him sharing a Mate with his teammate “El Mono” Vargas.
Argentina always had some sort of influence on Wu Lei. During the 2008 Olympic Games, when he was only 16 years old, he was caddy for the Argentine team and he even took selfies with Lionel Messi and Kun Agüero. But above all his idol Messi and the Argentine forward ‘El Mono’ Vargas, with whom he plays side by side in RCD Espanyol soccer club; have been an inspiration for Wu Lei, who now knows the benefits of Yerba Mate.
Recently, the Asian scorer shared a post on WEIBO (a kind of Chinese Twitter) congratulating his teammate Vargas for having been summoned to Argentina’s national team. The post includes a picture of both players in the locker room smiling and sharing a round of Yerba Mate; on the same day that Wu Lei became the first Chinese player in history to score a goal against FC Barcelona, only two minutes before the end of the match. A surprising and impressive achievement that put Wu Lei at the top of the sports news.
This pleasant coincidence reminds us that yerba mate has often been considered the secret weapon of successful soccer players.
Wu Lei, a young boy born in the 90’s, has now become a Chinese soccer star and number 55 on Forbes List of Chinese celebrities. On January 17, 2020, he received the Golden Ball award in the Chinese Super League.
After his move against Barcelona FC, when he has also fulfilled his dream of sharing the field with his childhood idol, Messi; Wu Lei became the headline of newspapers and radio stations. World Sports News described it as an exciting move with a perfect definition. The Aspen newspaper even claimed that Wu Lei’s goal against Barcelona FC would be seen by more than a billion people.
This player, now recognized by thousands of fans in Spain and China, humbly admires other players and teammates and likes to share with them not only the soccer field, but also a good Mate.
But Yerba Mate is not exclusive to soccer celebrities. Considered one of the best drinks in the World, Mate has become a tradition that brings people together to share and enjoy a good time. A thousand-year-old ritual that is expanding all over the world.