Real Madrid have sacked youth coach Alvaro Benito following his stinging criticism of Los Blancos stars after their 3-0 humbling by Barcelona on Wednesday.
Former Real player Benito hit out at Casemiro and Toni Kroos after a Luis Suarez double helped fire Barca to a fifth successive Copa del Rey final.
Bernabeu legend Raul is reportedly in line to replace Benito who had been coaching the club’s Under-19s B team.
“For me, the problem is with players who are very, very far from their level,” Benito said after the Clasico defeat. “I am speaking about Casemiro, who for me shouldn’t be playing a minute for Real Madrid right now.
“Kroos, when we have the wind behind our backs he navigates us fantastically, but when the wind turns he doesn’t even put the boat in the water.”
Benito has released a statement following his dismissal, insisting his conscience is clear after his comments.
“I leave the club of my heart with a clear conscience,” he said. “I gave my all every day I came back and enjoyed being in Real Madrid, my love for the institution will stay intact.
“I respect the decision taken by the club, I have always defended my presence in the media to them. I always felt free to speak about the club I love. I am very grateful for the opportunity the club’s board gave me to return home.”
As a player, Benito featured 42 times for Real between 1995 and 2002, scoring twice.
His career was curtailed by a serious knee injury, the recovery from which was prolonged further after he was involved in a car accident.