On Sunday Real Madrid began LaLiga life without former talisman Cristiano Ronaldo – but not many people were there to see it.
The hosts bounced back from their Uefa Super Cup defeat to Atletico Madrid with victory over Getafe thanks to goals in either half from Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale.
But just 48,466 people were at the Santiago Bernabeu to watch the game, Real’s lowest league attendance in nine years. The Bernabeu’s capacity is over 80,000 meaning there were around 30,000 empty seats.
The last time figures were that low was the final game of the 2008-09 season against Mallorca – which was the last match Real Madrid played before Ronaldo’s £80m arrival from Manchester United.
Real are still coming to terms with the superstar’s £89m summer departure to Juventus. Thibaut Courtois represents the highest-profile incoming since but new coach Julen Lopetegui left his new signing on the bench, with Keylor Navas continuing in goal.
Nacho spoke about Ronaldo’s exit after the Getafe win, stating that he feels Bale has nothing to prove in his absence.
“Bale does not have to fill Ronaldo’s shoes, they are two different players,” he said.
“Ronaldo’s time here was an era and he was very important to us, but Gareth is his own player and very important too, he does not need to prove his worth to anyone here.
“Everybody here is with Gareth including all the players, coaches and the fans – he is very happy at Madrid and he is playing like that, full of confidence.”