Real Madrid: Big drop in attendance for first Ronaldo-less match

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Just how much of an impact will the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo have on Real Madrid’s fortunes? Quite a big one, the numbers suggest.

The Spanish giants kicked off their new campaign with a home game against Getafe on Sunday night, playing in front of their worst crowd since 2009.

With no Ronaldo in the line-up, the announced attendance for the season-opening win was only 48,446 out of the stadium’s 81,044 capacity.

The last time attendance was that bad was just prior to when Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for the 2009-10 season.

Empty seats were evident throughout the stadium, but while the absence of Ronaldo probably played a role in that, there were also other factors at play.

The kick-off was at 10:15 p.m. local time on a Sunday, and late August is also a popular vacation time in Spain.

Nevertheless, Sunday’s attendance was way down in comparison to usual August figures, and it’s hard to deny that Ronaldo’s absence is playing a part.