It was supposed to be a normal Champions League game. will. At least as normal as a semi-final can be. But that evening on April 1, 1998, everything was different at the Santiago Bernabeu: Because of the legendary Madrid goalfall, the match between Real and Borussia Dortmund only kicked off 76 minutes later than planned. Marcel Reif and Günther Jauch made TV history.
This article was first published on November 6, 2012.
There he sat now and didn’t know what to do. Marcel Reif actually wanted to start commenting on the game between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. No game like any other for Reif: “Strangely, I had never seen a game at the Bernabeu Stadium before. That was something special.”
Instead, the then 47-year-old told something about Catalonia or centralism in Spain – just about everything, just nothing about football. As he himself says in retrospect, he was about to commit “media suicide”.
That’s why switched RTL Moderator Günther Jauch on this – and what he then fabricated together with Reif for 76 minutes went down in TV history. What is often forgotten these days when you remember April 1st, 1998: It was the semi-finals of the Champions League!
Borussia Dortmund: Only five CL winners in the starting line-up
And then at 8:50 p.m. all the men were sitting in the cabin and, like the commentator Reif, didn’t know what was actually going on.
But what happened? One after the other: everything is ready at 8.44 p.m. The players are already on the grass. The team that coach Nevio Scala sends out has little to do with the team that won the title in Munich’s Olympic Stadium just under a year earlier.
Only five players from the 1997 final against Juventus (3-1) are in the starting line-up. No Jürgen Kohler, no Matthias Sammer, no Andreas Möller – the defending champion’s bad luck with injuries goes hand in hand with a major loss of quality.
In the ranks of the royal, on the other hand, there are names such as Roberto Carlos, Raul or Clarence Seedorf. Lars Ricken, who is in the Borussia starting line-up, watches the interview Bundesliga.de back to the balance of power: “I can still remember that I hackled Clarence Seedorf quite a bit.”
Ricken remembers waiting in the catacombs: “The tension was already very high beforehand, and then suddenly you sit in the dressing room for an hour wondering when you can finally play. You hear a goal fell over and you think , then a new one is set up quickly. And then minute after minute goes by. Unbelievable! “
Lars Ricken: “Minute by minute goes by”
So Reif and Jauch have to improvise. They comment on everything that is going on on the field. For example, stewards cut through the net and carried the goal – 20 minutes after it fell over – out of the interior of the stadium.
But the replacement is a long time coming. And so Reif and Jauch bridge the time with gallows humor. And analyzes with a twinkle in the eye: “Never before would a goal have done a game so good,” says Reif, for example, while Jauch explains to viewers who only tuned in later: “The first goal has already been scored!”
Sometimes it becomes completely absurd how Reif in retrospect compared to the world says: “Jauch asked me to report on how I had set up my Ikea shelf on the morning of that day and what technical wisdom I could deduce from it for the peat fall. I actually made a good report and told twelve million people at prime time that my new shelf doesn’t fit in my basement – that’s crazy. “