Mate Tea, a South American caffeine-rich stimulant drink, similar to a coffee, has been discovered to be the favourite of some of the best footballers in the world.

The tea is believed to increase focus and improve mood, while also helping to promote better sleep.

Some of the best footballers in the world are fans of the drink, but what is it? Goal takes a look at the South American tea and details of the footballers that take the tea.

Elite professional athletes are always looking for ways to improve their performances and the slightest alterations to lifestyle, training and diet can make all the difference.

In recent years, more and more footballers have begun drinking mate – a drink enjoyed by Pope Francis, no less – with the trend spreading across the Atlantic from South America to Europe.

Given that it is a traditional South American drink it will come as no surprise to learn that stars from countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay regularly drink mate.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi is probably the highest profile player who enjoys the drink and the Barcelona attacker is often pictured with it on social media.

Messi’s Bara team-mate Luis Suarez is another fan of mate, as is the Argentine’s compatriot Sergio Aguero.

World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba also appear to incorporate it into the diet, as does Brazil star Neymar.

 Gonzalo Higuain was shown enjoying mate in the Netflix documentary First Team: Juventus and the Argentina international has shared the drink with fellow South Americans Douglas Costa and Rodrigo Bentancur.

As you might expect, the reason mate is so popular among footballers is because of the health benefits associated with it.