Roger Nilsen

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Roger Nilsen
Roger Nilsen.JPG
Roger Nilsen during a show game against Liverpool
Personal information
Date of birth (1969-08-08) 8 August 1969 (age 47)
Place of birth Tromsø, Norway
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1988 Tromsø 3 (0)
1989–1993 Viking 90 (11)
1993 1. FC Köln (loan) 10 (0)
1993–1999 Sheffield United 166 (0)
1999 Tottenham Hotspur 2 (0)
1999–2000 Grazer AK 13 (0)
2000–2001 Molde 20 (2)
2002–2003 Bryne 24 (0)
Total 329 (13)
National team
1989–1992 Norway U21 19 (2)
1990–2000 Norway 32 (3)
Teams managed
2006 Stavanger
2007–2010 Viking (assistant)
2014– Fløya (women)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Roger Nilsen (born 8 August 1969 in Tromsø) is a Norwegian football coach and former defender. He played 32 matches and scored three goals for Norway.

Nilsen played for the Norwegian clubs Tromsø, Viking, Molde and Bryne, and spent time abroad at 1. FC Köln, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur and Grazer AK. He has later worked as assistant coach at Viking.

Club career[edit]

Viking FK[edit]

His career began in Tromsø, but it was after he moved on to Viking that he became established, winning the Norwegian Premier League in 1991.[1] In his four seasons at Viking, Nilsen successfully became a regular in Norway's U21 team, and won his first senior cap in 1990. He was loaned to 1. FC Köln, and was put up for sale towards the end of the 1993 season.

Sheffield United[edit]

Having already signed Norwegian team-mate Jostein Flo, Sheffield United boss Dave Bassett added Nilsen in November 1993 for the fee of £500,000, beating Aberdeen to his signature.[2] Nilsen joined as the club fought unsuccessfully against relegation from the Premier League, and was a regular at left-back.

A popular figure at Bramall Lane, Nilsen played six seasons under five different managers, with a number of games at centre-back - particularly after United switched to a wing-back formation in 1997/98. He started the 1997 playoff final defeat at Wembley against Crystal Palace, and United's defeat to Newcastle in the FA Cup semi-final in 1998. It was in that cup-run where Nilsen had arguably his most memorable moment, during the quarter-final penalty shootout win over Coventry City. Never scoring for the Blades, and with Gareth Taylor having missed the first United penalty, Nilsen stepped up to convert the 2nd - powering the ball past Steve Ogrizovic to put the Blades 1-0 up.[3]

Nilsen's final appearance came as he helped keep a clean sheet in a 3-0 win over West Brom in Feb 1999, before a surprise return to the Premier League saw him transferred to Tottenham Hotspur on a free.[4]

Later career[edit]

After making just three appearances at Spurs, Nilsen had a brief spell at Grazer AK before he returned home to play for Molde and Bryne.[1] He left Bryne in 2003, but continued his career in the Norwegian third division with Stavanger IF.[4]

International career[edit]

Nilsen represented Norway at youth international level and played for the under-20 team in the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship.[5] He played 19 matches and scored two goals for Norway U21.[6]

Nilsen made his debut for the senior team in the friendly match against Cameroon on 31 October 1990. He scored his first goal for Norway against Sweden on 26 August 1992, and scored two goals in the 10–0 win against San Marino two weeks later. Nilsen was a part of the 1994 FIFA World Cup squad, but did not play any matches in the tournament. He played his last match for Norway against Sweden on 4 February 2000. Nilsen was capped a total of 32 times, and scored three goals.[7]

Coaching career[edit]

In 2006, he retired and took over as head coach for Stavanger IF, guiding the club to promotion to the second division. At the end of the season, Nilsen left the club to take up the assistant coach position at the Norwegian Premier League side Viking.[8] After manager Uwe Rösler left in November 2009 he was briefly caretaker manager.[9] He was downsized from his assistant job after the 2010 season.[10]

In 2014, he succeeded Odd-Karl Stangnes as manager of IF Fløya's women's team, combined with a teaching job at the Norwegian College of Elite Sports in Tromsø.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Roger Nilsen is the brother of the former player and coach Steinar Nilsen.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Norske fotballspillere i utlandet" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Aberdeen loses the cash race for Nilsen". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Arsenal and Sheffield United Through on penalties". BBC. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Tottenham låner Nilsen" (in Norwegian). VG. Retrieved 13 July 2015.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "til" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  5. ^ "Norway squad, 1989 FIFA U-20 World Cup". FIFA. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Roger Nilsen's profil". (in Norwegian). Football Association of Norway. Retrieved 20 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Roger Nilsen". Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  8. ^ Grøndal, Kjell-Ivar (18 April 2008). "Nilsen holder ambisjonene for seg selv" (in Norwegian). Stavanger Aftenblad. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  9. ^ "Roger Nilsen overtar". Bladet Tromsø (in Norwegian). 7 October 2010. p. 31. 
  10. ^ Fisketjøn, Lars (7 October 2010). "Ber Viking-ledelsen kutte millioner". Rogalands Avis (in Norwegian). pp. 18–19. 
  11. ^ Hanssen, Anders Mo (4 June 2014). "Vil rykke opp i løpet av to år". Nordlys (in Norwegian). p. 27. 
  12. ^ Sonstad, Trym Oust (17 June 2007). "Fotball foran søskenkjærlighet" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 18 May 2009.