Sometimes it may feel that yerba mate is exotic outside of South America and is relatively unpopular compared to tea and coffee. Do you feel like there is simply no one around you who drinks mate traditionally? Think twice! Here’s the list of worldwide celebrities in no particular order who enjoy yerba mate regularly and traditionally, help to spread the word about yerba mate and make it more well-known to the masses.
7 times Ballon d’Or winner, 4 Champions League trophies with Barcelona, one of the greatest football players of all time and an Argentine — Leo Messi is probably one of the most well-known mate drinkers in the world. Like most Argentines, Leo enjoys yerba mate since his early childhood, and up to this day you can see him drinking mate at home with his family on social media, as well as during training sessions and taking mate on the go before games.
Obviously, Messi is not the only football player from South America who drinks mate since childhood and takes it all around the world. Other famous players include Luis Suárez, Sergio Agüero, Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Paulo Dybala, Alisson Becker, Ronaldinho and even late Diego Maradona enjoyed mate on a regular basis which arguably allowed them to take their game to a whole new level.
Danish-American actor who is most known for his role of Aragorn in epic fantasy adventure trilogy The Lord of the Rings, Viggo Mortensen spent a significant part of his childhood in Argentina, where he acquired a fluent proficiency in Spanish and a life-long habit of drinking mate. You can often see him on movie set enjoying yerba mate out of a gourd and San Lorenzo de Almagro thermos, showing his love for the Argentine football club.
5 times Ballon d’Or winner, 5 Champions League trophies with Real Madrid and Manchester United, one of the greatest football players of all time — Cristiano Ronaldo makes a unexpected appearance on this list. Being a Portuguese, Cristiano was probably introduced to yerba mate sometime during his career as football player. Knowing how much he cares about his health and physical form it is no surprise that he picked up this hobby, considering how much health benefits there are to yerba mate. Judging by the rare photos from social media, Cristiano Ronaldo enjoys his yerba mate in form of tereré, with a cool-looking leather kit that consists of guampa and thermos, most likely of a Paraguayan origin.
As you see, the love for yerba mate in the world of football spreads well beyond South America. Many European players start drinking mate seeing how it benefits their South American teammates. For instance, during his tenure in Tottenham Hotspur, Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino hooked up half of the team on yerba mate, icluding England national team players Eric Dier, Harry Kane, Danny Rose and Dele Alli. Other famous non South American football players who enjoy yerba mate include Frenchmen Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba, Axel Witzel from Belguim and Mohamed Salah from Egypt to name a few.
Rock and roll does not always come with sex and drugs! And even though the lead vocalist of Metallica struggled with alcohol and drug addictions, yerba mate became the main source of inspiration and creativity since Hetfield became sober. Drinking mate traditionally is the habit James Hetfield most likely picked up from his wife Francesca Tomasi, who was born in Argentina.
Being an Argentine, it is no surprise that Pope Francis is a matero! Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, he grew up in a working class neighborhood in Buenos Aires, drinking mate since his childhood. Now you can frequently see Pope Francis drinking mate in the most authentic and traditional way — sharing the gourd with people and bringing the world closer together.
“Avatar” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” star, Zoe Saldaña, who is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, first tried yerba mate when she was offered it by her Argentine and Chilean friends at school while living in the Dominican Republic. Mate made her so focused and alert, helping her to do well on her test, that she became hooked for the rest of her life!
Another actor enjoying the benefits of traditional mate, Orlando Bloom needs no introduction. Yerba mate helps the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star reduce tiredness, clear up mind and dismiss starvation. Orlando himself calls yerba mate the best alternative to coffee, as well as acknowledging the cultural significance of the drink in his Instagram post.
Born in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Gisele Bündchen in no stranger to yerba mate. In the most traditional to this region way, she actually enjoys the Brazilian fresh erva mate, prepared as chimarrão. Erva mate, according to Gisele, who resides in US and spends most of her time travelling all around the world, makes her feel like home and the taste of chimarrão takes her back to the childhood.
Even if you’re not familiar with the Bacon’s law, aka Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, you surely have seen at least one film or television series starring Kevin Bacon. He started drinking mate after he first saw people enjoying it in Argentina and becoming curious. American actor confessed his love for the ritual of mate and shared it multiple times on Twitter, showing his thermos, gourd and bombilla.
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