On their way to winning the 2016/17 LaLiga title, Real Madrid quite amazingly won more points away from home than they did at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, picking up 47 points on the road to the 46 they earned in the northern part of the capital.
It worked out alright in the end, but the club will know that they cannot afford to drop another 10 points in front of their own fans this season if they hope to retain their title.
That is one of the reasons why those in the Real Madrid hierarchy signed off on the creation of a new singing section behind the southern goal, moving the vocal supporters who had previously been in the upper tiers to right behind the goalposts.
With every member of that group, the Grada Fans, agreeing to stand for all 90 minutes and agreeing to wear a white Real shirt, the effect is spectacular, as was seen in the return leg of the Supercopa de Espana against Barcelona and in the Bernabeu Trophy match against Fiorentina.
Now, Los Blancos play their first home game of the new LaLiga season against Valencia on Sunday night and they’ll hope this new melting pot of positive energy can motivate them and intimidate their opponents.
There were moments during the 2016/17 season when sections of the Bernabeu jeered their own players, so much so that Cristiano Ronaldo even had to urge them to applaud rather than boo.
But with such a large gathering of vocal supporters behind the goal, Real Madrid should now be able to count on playing in front of positive vibes, with the Grada Fans capable of conducting the Bernabeu orchestra and drowning out any mutterings of discontent.
Interestingly, Real Madrid have not actually scored in front of this new singing section yet, with both goals against Barcelona and both goals against Fiorentina coming in the first half, when they were attacking the opposite stand.
Yet that first goal in front of the lively crowd will come sooner or later and when it does it will be quite a sight.
If the decibel levels rise and rise at the Bernabeu throughout this campaign, then Los Blancos’ tally of points earned at home will surely move in the right direction too.