Moments in TV history: A goal is scored in Madrid – and two commentators are in top form

It is April 1, 1998.

Moments in TV history: A goal is scored in Madrid – and two commentators are in top form

It is April 1, 1998. Borussia Dortmund is the reigning Champions League winner and has legitimate hopes of defending the title: The black and yellow are already in the semi-finals and a round earlier knocked out FC Bayern Munich from the competition.

Before the final, however, there is still a very tough one waiting for BVB: the star ensemble Real Madrid, coached by the German coach Jupp Heynckes. The game is supposed to start at 8:45 p.m. But something comes up: the gate tips over. The reason: fanatical fans of the Spanish champions climbed onto the protective fence behind the goal. Two minutes before the scheduled kick-off, the fence tilts in the direction of the grandstand - and tears away the goal attached to it.

Those responsible are feverishly looking for a replacement solution - and find it on the Real Madrid training ground. It will take 76 minutes before the goal is set and the game can begin. As a result, Marcel Reif faces a big problem: The commentator is sitting in the stadium for RTL and has to bridge the time until kick-off.

He is supported by Günther Jauch, who is based in the studio in Cologne. "Then a real satire developed, and then we chattered insanely," Marcel Reif later recalled. In fact, the exchange of words between the two gentlemen was much more amusing than any football game could have been. "A goal would never have done a game so good," Marcel Reif varied a well-known phrase. And Jauch informed the spectators who came later: "For all those who didn't switch on in time, (...) the first goal has already been scored!"

When the game finally kicked off, the evening didn't go well for the Germans who had arrived: The Black and Yellows didn't stand a chance and lost 2-0 - a deficit they couldn't make up in the second leg either. The only consolation was being eliminated against the eventual Champions League winners.

Günther Jauch and Marcel Reif, on the other hand, were allowed to feel like winners: They not only received praise from the viewers for their spontaneous bridging moderation - but also important honors: They were awarded the Bavarian Television Prize and nominated for the renowned Adolf Grimme Prize. Almost even more valuable: around 12.76 million viewers watched the duel between Reif and Jauch – only half as many people saw the actual game afterwards. Rarely has the viewer spoken such a clear judgment.