Only 55,229 fans watched Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0 at the 81,044-capacity Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, continuing a trend of dwindling attendances since Cristiano Ronaldo departed the club in the summer.
Only one Real home game all season has drawn more than 70,000 fans—78,562 watched the derby against Atletico Madrid—and the visit of Rayo was the third match in a row at the Bernabeu with an attendance under 56,000.
Manu de Juan of AS believes Ronaldo's absence is one of the key factors in the apparent lack of interest this season from Real's fans.
The Portuguese superstar moved to Juventus for £99.2 million in July, and the dip in attendances was immediate.
Real opened the 2018-19 La Liga season at the Bernabeu in front of just over 48,000 supporters, the lowest attendance at the stadium since Real's last league game of the 2008-09 campaign, just before Ronaldo joined the club.