Scritto da The New York Times
A strong and often bitter herbal infusion brewed hot or cold from the leaves of a plant native to South America, yerba mate is popular in Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina. Some of the best soccer players in the world hail from that region and swear by it, and they have spread it around the world through their club teams. The World Cup in Qatar, though, raised some logistical and supply challenges, not least of which was: Where would devotees find yerba mate in the Gulf?
So they came prepared. Brazil’s national team, which has a few mate drinkers, brought 26 pounds of it to Qatar, a team official said. Uruguay’s squad packed about 530 pounds. But it was Argentina, which will face Croatia in the semifinals on Tuesday fully expecting to extend its stay through Sunday’s final, that topped them all. To ensure that the roughly 75 members of its traveling party — players, coaches, trainers and the rest — would have a steady supply of a drink they consider essential, Argentina’s team hauled a whopping 1,100 pounds of yerba mate to Qatar.