The usual sea of white at the Bernabéu appeared a bit patchy as Los Blancos recorded their lowest La Liga crowd since the 2008-2009 season; of the 81,044 seats in the stadium, 48,446 were filled.
While the football on the park was good, the crowd was well below last season’s average of 65,653.
Is this a flash in the pan or the post-Ronaldo reality for Real?
It was the first game of the season against a local rival in Getafe, which should be reason enough to see a big crowd, but broader trends could offer an explanation for the below average attendance.
The social media numbers surrounding Ronaldo’s move from Madrid to Juventus were insane. Juve gained millions of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers after the announcement.
From this you could extrapolate that fans who follow players rather than teams – the new football fandom – have transferred their affections to reflect their favourite player’s new team.
Perhaps even more telling than the social media numbers is the attendance at Chievo v Juventus – Ronaldo’s first Serie A match.
Chievo’s average attendance last season was just under 12,500 with the stadium capacity at about 39,000. For Ronaldo’s visit, the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi was a sell-out.
This is the kind of thing that is likely to follow the Old Lady and Ronaldo around the league.
Back to Madrid and it is reasonable to expect that over the course of the season, as the likes of Luka Modrić re-enter the starting XI, the attendance will return to its average of around 65,000.
Those who did attend the match saw Real Madrid beat Getafe 2-0 with Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale finding the back of the net.
Sergio Ramos had a goal disallowed after he committed a foul in the box in order to give himself the room to score.
Real could have added to its tally with Marco Asensio and Bale both hitting the frame of the goal with the Welshman, in particular, in very good form.