Yerba mate fever as England kick off their mate-fuelled World Cup campaign

World Cup fever has finally hit, and this time it's tinged green with our favourite super herb! Last week the Telegraph, Guardian, Sun and Daily Mail all reported that England's footballers are drinking 'mate tea' to power their Russia 2018 campaign. 

IMAGE: THE SUN, AFP OR LICENSORS

Football's association with mate has been around for years - word has it that when he managed the national team, Maradona ordered players to drink a healthy amount of mate, and some of the world's best players including Messi, Suárez, Coutinho, Neymar and France's Griezmann are all materos. 

Argentina's newspaper La Nación responded with amusement to the news that English players have finally caught on - drinking mate is hardly news for their national team: "In the Argentine camp the players sleep, wake up and drink mate. They train, they drink mate. They talk tactics drinking mate."

England's new addiction seems to have come via Tottenham, where Argentine manager Pochettino has introduced it to the team, home to five players in the national squad: Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane.

“Quite a lot of the players have started drinking it... I am a bit addicted to it now," said Eric Dier.

“With Tottenham, we have a lot of Argentinians so I started drinking it with them and now the English players are trying to pretend to be South Americans. Danny Rose and I have a quiet one in our room sometimes when we're with England.”

Dele Alli is also a fan: “I love it, but Eric has to make it for me because I don’t know how.”

Don't worry Dele, we've got your back. Here's our handy Yuyo guide to brewing your mate like a South American.