MADRID, May 2 (Reuters) - Malaga skipper Fernando Sanz says he is still in a state of shock after his side were relegated to the second division at the weekend.
'There have been two really sad and bitter moments in my career,' the 32-year-old was quoted as saying in sports daily AS on Tuesday. 'One was when I left Real Madrid and the other is this one.
'It is as if someone has died, you just don't want to believe it and right now I'm in a state of shock. I can't face the idea that we have gone down to the second division.'
The Andalucians dropped out of the top flight for the first time in eight seasons following an agonising 3-2 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Racing Santander on Sunday.
They fought their way back from a goal down to take a 2-1 lead thanks to two quick-fire goals from Alexis.
But the defender turned from hero to villain early in the second half when he allowed Racing striker Antonito to snatch the ball from his feet and poke into the net as he waited for his keeper to come for it.
Malaga's fate was sealed when the referee awarded a penalty after deciding that Sanz had handled when he lost his footing and fell on the ball in the area 11 minutes from time.
Malaga keeper Francesc Arnau saved Antonito's spot kick, but Juanjo netted the follow-up to ensure relegation for Manuel Hierro's side.
With three games left to play and two relegation places yet to fill, there are still eight teams who can join Malaga in the second division next season.
Cadiz and Alaves are favourites for the drop, but six other teams including Athletic Bilbao, Real Betis, Espanyol and Real Sociedad are within five points of the relegation zone.