FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Real Betis v Atletico Madrid - Estadio Benito Villamarin, Seville, Spain - February 3, 2019 Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata REUTERS
Real Madrid have sacked youth coach Alvaro Benito after he made negative comments about their first team on a radio programme during Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in a Copa del Rey semi-final second leg.
In a statement released on Twitter on Friday, Benito said: "I respect the decision of the club, which I have always defended when appearing in the media. I always felt able to speak freely about the club I love.
"I leave with no resentment and will always be grateful to the club for everything it gave me as a player and in my first steps as a coach."
Real Madrid did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to Spanish media reports, former Real striker Raul Gonzalez will succeed Benito as coach of the under-18 team.
During Real's 3-0 defeat to Barca, which saw them exit the competition 4-1 on aggregate, Benito singled out midfielders Toni Kroos and Casemiro for criticism in a scathing assessment of the European champions' performance on radio station Cadena Ser.
"The problem is there are players that are playing very far from their level," he said.
"I'm talking about Casemiro who at the moment is not good enough to play even a minute for Real Madrid. Kroos is fantastic when the wind is in his favour, when it goes against him he abandons ship."
Cadena Ser confirmed Benito had been sacked for his broadcast comments.
"Tonight Real Madrid told our colleague Alvaro Benito that he has been sacked as coach of the Juvenil B (under-18) team. The reason is they disagreed with some of the comments he has made on Cadena Ser," presenter Dani Garrido said in a broadcast on Thursday.
Benito spent seven years as a Real Madrid player but was forced to retire at 26 due to persistent injuries. He is a well-known television and radio pundit and newspaper columnist, and started coaching Real's youth teams in 2015.
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