Football's fans: Real Madrid and Barcelona no longer seduce their fans

LaLiga has the worst attendance figures in the major European leagues, while England's stadiums are packed to capacity
Barcelona Real Madrid


The new normality brings back to reality situations that were swept away by the pandemic. In February 2020, it was already being discussed why fans were starting not to go to the stadiums. The first division stadiums were barely full, while in the second division the enthusiasm of the fans was making them cheer for their team.  

The 2021-2022 season did not start in the same way for the different leagues in Europe. England allowed full capacity before the start of the Premier and Spain waited until October to open the gates to the public. The Italian league also maintained certain limits and the Bundesliga was permissive from the start.

Manchester United Liverpool

Derbi and Clásico 

But that is no longer a reason for excuses. All things being equal, the Spanish league is not attractive on the football pitches. The last Seville derby between Sevilla and Betis was the first match with a great spectacle atmosphere. The Benito Villamarín was attended by 50,000 of the stadium's almost 60,000 spectators. That gives Betis the honour of placing third in the season's capacity ranking with 56% of the total between the six La Liga matches they have hosted and an average of 33,000 spectators.  

The other big game of the season was the Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid on 24 October, which drew 86,422 spectators. It was the lowest attendance since 1988 and equalled a Spanish Super Cup Clasico in 1997. The numbers leave Barça almost as poorly placed as in La Liga. The Camp Nou is the 16th worst attended stadium in Spain with an average attendance of 40% in seven league games. An average of 40,000 spectators out of a maximum of 99,354. 

The Santiago Bernabéu stadium will be the best in the world by the end of 2022. At the moment it is second to last in the ranking with a 35% capacity and an average of 28,589 out of the 81,044 that it has become with the works. The emptiness in the stands has been evident for some time now.  

Last in the ranking is Balaídos with 28% of spectators with only 8,000 out of 29,000, although in this case, the works also have an influence. 

Barcelona-Real Madrid

Osasuna and Real 

At the top, the leader is El Sadar, which has won over the fans with its refurbishment. It is 63% full, although 100% was not allowed until October. The colchonero was looking forward to seeing Atlético at the Metropolitano. An average of 63% puts it in second place because the capacity is 68,456 and Madrid also had restrictions at the beginning of La Liga. The Reale Arena is fourth with 55% of the fans who want to see their Real Sociedad winning a league more than 30 years later. Another community with limits until October. Then come Los Cármenes (54%), Carranza (53%), Ciutat de Valencia (52%), La Cerámica (52%), Sánchez Pizjuán (51%), Son Moix (50%), San Mamés (45%), Mestalla (44%), Alfonso Pérez (43%), Mendizorroza (41%), Vallecas (40%), RCDE (39%) and Martínez Valero (38%). 

Prices, timetables...

There are all kinds of reasons for disenchantment. A look at the websites of many teams shows that ticket prices do not go below 60 euros for many matches and, in some cases, are as high as 100 euros.  

On the other hand, Real Madrid and Barcelona have become disconnected from their fans because their squads are no longer the constellation they used to be. They are no longer winning teams and this has led to a loss of interest. The schedules are not interesting either, with matches at 21:30 on a Wednesday or at 14:00 on a Sunday. TV also does a lot with the amount of information and footage they offer. The spectator who goes to the pitch doesn't know if there is a VAR review and can't see it either. And finally, the age of the new fans makes them more aware of other platforms than 90 minutes watching a football match. 

Barcelona-Real Madrid


In Europe, the numbers are astonishingly bettered by the Premier League. The feeling they have all over Britain for football is in the DNA of every citizen. This season no team is below 85% of maximum capacity. That figure is held by bottom side Burnley's Turf Moor Stadium. Leading the top three are Leicester City's King Power Stadium (99.3%), Norwich City's Carrow Road (98%) and Aston Villa's Villa Park (98%). The Big Six also has very high numbers: fourth is Arsenal's Emirates (98%); sixth is Liverpool's Anfield (98%); seventh is Chelsea's Stamford Bridge (97%); eighth is Manchester's Old Trafford (97%); thirteenth is City's Etihad Stadium (95%) and sixteenth is Tottenham Hotspur (93%). 

Manchester United-Liverpool


Italy is the country that presents similar numbers to Spain with the condition that its stadiums have not had full capacity until the end of October. In the 19/20 season, Juventus' Allianz Stadium was 95% full. In Spain, in that season, it was Granada's stadium that was 84% full for the whole season. So far this season, Spezia's Alberto Picco stadium is in first place with 59% and two full houses. Inter's Giuseppe Meaza is second with 53% and one full house. Third is Venezia's Pier Luigi Penzo (53%); fourth is Milan's San Siro (49%) and fifth is Rome's Olimpico (49%).  


The Bundesliga also came into the new season with limits that have been extended until October. In 19/20 Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena had 100% occupancy with 13 full houses throughout the season. At the moment, it is Cologne's RheinEnergieStadion which has 68%. Second is Arminia Bielefeld's SchücoArena (64%); third is Leverkusen's BayArena (62%); fourth is Leipzig's Red Bull Arena (61%) and fifth is VfL Bochum's Vonovia Ruhrstadion (58%). The Allianz Arena is tenth with 51% as it was not able to host 100% until 23 October.  

Robert Lewandowski

Although the pandemic disrupted everything, the return to normality leaves old phobias in Spain. Football does not seduce the fans who no longer find reasons to go to the stadium to watch their team.