Darwin Núñez’s arrival at Liverpool has cemented the legacy of Uruguayan strikers in the Premier League once again. Whether it was Diego Forlan, Edinson Cavani, or former Red, Luis Suarez, every South American striker so far has lit up stadiums with their raving performances.
But along with their impeccable goal-scoring abilities, the South Americans have also brought their rich cultural heritage along with themselves and one particular drink seems to have left the players wanting more of it.
Recently, Nunez was pictured with a specially made decorative gourd with a straw and the fans seem to have recognized that familiar drink in his hand. This was an exquisite South American, caffeine-rich infused drink called ‘Mate,’ which comes from a Yerba-mate plant that grows in the lands of South America.
Mate was first used for medicinal purposes by an indigenous tribe of South America named Guarani and then recently gained traction for his immense health and fitness benefits.
However, when asked about its particular benefits, Mate is said to act as a catalyst to boost your mood and provides higher and longer stretches of concentration. Unlike tea and coffee, Mate is known to better your sleep schedule and helps one to get a solid sleep before game day.
This wonder drink comprises Vitamins B and C, which improve your metabolism and help in digestion, among other things. Its preparation is, however, simpler than many other drinks.
The dried leaves of the Yerba mate plant are turned into a semi-powdery state and placed in a traditional pot made of Calabash Gourd. Post that, hot water is poured over the leaves into the pot and is usually sipped with a straw called ‘Bombilla,’ which is used as a filter so that the players can enjoy the taste of the soaked leaves.
Mate’s taste is described as a mix between tea and coffee, while some claim that it is an acquired taste, but once you’re hooked, there’s no turning back.
The firm and enthusiastic advocates of ‘Mate’ are Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar Jr. who are often seen sipping the drink on their way to the stadiums, on flights, or in team buses.
This tremendous export from South America has also caught up with players in the Premier League where Tottenham Hotspur’s defender, Eric Dier, mentioned that his Argentinian manager, Mauricio Pochettino, got him addicted to this wondrous drink.
Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann are also fans of Mate and are often witnessed sipping on this iconic drink. Nunez’s confirmed appearance at Liverpool only means that soon we might be blessed with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane (if he stays) and the Uruguayan enjoying ‘Mate’ just like the deadly trio of MSN did before they took down opposition defences.