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.
The 48,000 attendance at the Bernabeu last night could be down to the fact that many people are on holiday around this time, and the match kicked off at 10.15pm on a Sunday.
But the last two season openers at the Bernabeu:
18/08/13: v Betis – 76,870
25/08/14: v Cordoba – 70,356
— Andreas Vou (@AndreasVou89) August 20, 2018
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.