Photo via lagaceta.com.ar

Should you ask a taxi driver who they prefer out of Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, the answer is invariably the latter.

Why? The prostitutes, the cocaine, the personality, the myth, the legend, the Hand of God?

None of that.

They say simply, “Maradona is an Argentine.”

The point they’re making is that to them, Leo Messi is from Barcelona now — not Rosario. After all, he was whisked away to Catalonia at the tender age of 13, meaning he’s actually lived for two years longer in Spain than he did in Argentina.

Never mind the fact he’s closing in on Gabriel Batistuta’s all-time record of 56 goals for Argentina, many find it difficult to call Messi their compatriot. They’ve called him unpatriotic and River Plate fans even spat at him while he was at Narita Airport in Japan, the little foreigner.

But what better way is there to respond to the naysayers than by being as Argentine as physically possible without lassoing two tons of raw beef?

Messi showed his true colors with this video of him sipping mate and eating dulce de leche for breakfast.

Now try and tell me he’s not an Argentine.

Here’s an assortment of other footballers drinking mate:

Vintage Diego.
Vintage Diego. Photo via flickr.com
suarez mate
Luis Suárez. Look at just how Argentine he clearly isn’t. Photo via sienzuf.com
Carlitos trying to get a yerba gig after his yoghurt ads. Photo via diariouno.com.ar
Carlitos trying to get a yerba gig after his yoghurt ads. Photo via diariouno.com.ar
Before mate. Photo via moroccantimes.com
Before mate. Photo via moroccantimes.com
After mate.
After mate. Photo via dailymail.co.uk