What’s Powering Argentina at the World Cup? 1,100 Pounds of Yerba Mate.

Szychowski said the mate, originally consumed by indigenous people in the area before being spread by Jesuit missionaries, contains polyphenols, a compound with antioxidant properties. Some studies have suggested that the beverage may have a positive effect on health, he added.

The influence and example of South American partner drinkers such as Messi, Uruguay’s Luis Suárez and Brazil’s Neymar — who were teammates at the Barcelona club — have led other players to adopt. this habit.

Antoine Griezmann, the France fixture that will play in Wednesday’s semi-final, got into the habit after befriending Uruguayan players Cristian Rodríguez and José María Giménez when they were teammates at Atlético Madrid . Griezmann said that he now drinks it daily. Another French star, Paul Pogba, said in 2018 that he was attracted to his partner after one of his Manchester United teammates at the time – Marcos Rojo, an Argentine – had give him some of his own infusions.

“It’s perfect,” Pogba told an Argentinian TV channel. “I love it.”

Szychowski called soccer players the best yerba mate ambassadors worldwide, before noting that Pope Francisan Argentinian, also known to be a cup drinker.

However, not all players like the taste that some call too bitter, too herbaceous, too earthy. (Experts advise beginners to start with a sweet mate.) Walker Zimmerman, a defender for the United States team who was knocked out of the World Cup in the round of 16, said two of his teammates His Argentina at FC Dallas many years ago — Maximiliano Urruti and Mauro Díaz — introduced him to his mate, but he admits, “I don’t think I would be involved in it myself.”

Lisandro López, a former Argentina defender, said not everyone is used to him tending to his partner with a straw while he plays in Portugal. “A lot of times – and I’ve lived in Lisbon for four years – I go to a square to have a drink with my partner and people look at me weirdly, like you’re on drugs or something,” López said. that’s it.

Luis Hernández, the former Mexican striker, said his palate couldn’t get used to the taste as he spent a season at Boca Juniors in Argentina. While the rest of the team drank mate, he was the only one holding out, he said.

“I prefer a good cup of coffee to a cup of my mate,” Hernández said, then chuckles adding, “They say it helps them? But teammates don’t help you score goals.”


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