Was Cristiano Ronaldo the pulling factor for fans to visit the Santiago Bernabeu over the seasons?
La Liga side Real Madrid continued their after-life without Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo in an emphatic manner, with a win over Getafe, with goals from Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale, but the highlightt of the game was not the goals, but the absence of fans in the stands at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Just 48,466 fans attended the first game of the season, almost half of the stadium capacity. The situation is alarming because usually, the attendance is pretty high during opening fixtures, let alone that for Real Madrid, who completed a hat-trick of UEFA Champions League titles last season. In contrast, rivals FC Barcelona witnessed a fullhouse at the Camp Nou.
The last time the Bernabeu witnessed such a low attendance was 10 years ago in the 2008-09 season, when the team was on a 5-match losing streak, started by Barcelona’s 6-2 hammering of the Los Blancos, a season prior to the arrival of Ronaldo.
However, new manager Julen Lopetegui seemed unconcerned about the lack of showing from the fans, instead choosing to focus on the performance of Gareth Bale.
“He offers lots of different things, like the other players. We must continue working. The team always comes before individual talent and that goes for Bale too.”
Lopetegui added: “We’re satisfied with the win and happy because the team did a lot right. There’s still room for improvement at this stage of the season, as with all teams.
“We played with intensity, played as a team and scored two goals against a side who had the third-best defensive record last season and who came here and made things difficult.”
The victory went some way to easing the pain of their midweek European Super Cup defeat by city rivals Atletico.