Brazil training paused after parrot lands on player Benites' head

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A Brazil women's national team training session was paused after a parrot landed onto the head of player Bruna Benites, on Saturday.

In a now viral video, the bird can be seen standing on Brazil defender Benites' head before then flying the length of the pitch and perching on the goal netting. Play was resumed shortly afterwards.

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Taking to her Instagram account, the player posted a powerful caption alongside a video of the incident, which read: "I will take advantage of what happened today as, someone from Mato Grosso, I can't hide my feeling of profound sadness for everything that is happening in the Pantanal wetland.

"Thousands of animals are losing their lives due to the fires and if this continues, (rare) moments like what you are seeing in this video will become impossible to see. Let's be aware. Let's take care of our biggest heritage which is nature."

Benites followed her post with another where she explained the significance of her words: "Clearing up a few things: the scene yesterday of the parrot posing on me is not a sad scene but a symbolic one.

"This doesn't change the sad scene we are witnessing in the Pantanal wetland and in many other places around the world due to wild fires, but proves there are still conscious people who care about our animals.

"This parrot lives here in an apartment in Granja Comary (Rio de Janeiro) with his human family and is a domesticated animal, who is very well treated by his owners. He is free and that is why he regularly visits our training sessions.

"He usually watches from the changing rooms, near the goal, on the crossbar, but yesterday he was able to see things from a different angle and, probably, I was the only one with Pantanal blood (which I'm very proud of) and coincidentally, the highest point on the pitch, he ended up on me.

"For anyone in any doubt as to whether I consider this luck or randomness, I will use the words someone used in one of the many comments from yesterday: 'If a ladybird lands on you, it means good luck, now imagine a parrot?'"

Benites, formerly of Houston Dash, plays for Internacional in Brazil. She featured for the Brazil national team at London 2012 Olympic Games, but a cruciate ligament injury ruled her out from featuring at the 2015 FIFA World Cup.