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Roland Nilsson

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Title: Roland Nilsson  
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Subject: 1994 FIFA World Cup Group B, Sweden national football team, 1994 FIFA World Cup knockout stage, Sweden national under-17 football team, Stefan Rehn
Collection: 1963 Births, 1990 Fifa World Cup Players, 1994 Fifa World Cup Players, Allsvenskan Players, Coventry City F.C. Managers, Coventry City F.C. Players, Expatriate Football Managers in Denmark, Expatriate Football Managers in England, Expatriate Footballers in England, F.C. Copenhagen Managers, Fifa Century Club, Footballers at the 1988 Summer Olympics, Footballers from Skåne County, Gais Managers, Helsingborgs If Players, Ifk Göteborg Players, Living People, Malmö Ff Managers, Olympic Footballers of Sweden, Premier League Players, Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Players, Sweden International Footballers, Swedish Expatriate Football Managers, Swedish Expatriate Footballers, Swedish Football Managers, Swedish Footballers, Uefa Euro 1992 Players, Uefa Euro 2000 Players
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Roland Nilsson

Roland Nilsson
Personal information
Date of birth (1963-11-27) 27 November 1963
Place of birth Helsingborg, Sweden
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 12 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1974–1980 Helsingborg
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1983 Helsingborg 38 (3)
1983–1989 IFK Göteborg 124 (7)
1989–1994 Sheffield Wednesday 151 (2)
1994–1997 Helsingborg 64 (0)
1997–1999 Coventry City 60 (0)
1999–2001 Helsingborg 0 (0)
2001–2002 Coventry City 9 (0)
2004–2006 GAIS 7 (0)
Total 446 (12)
National team
1986–2000[1] Sweden 116 (1)
Teams managed
2001–2002 Coventry City
2002–2007 GAIS
2008–2011 Malmö FF
2011–2012 F.C. Copenhagen
2014– Sweden U17

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Roland Nilsson (born 27 November 1963 in Swedish football manager. As a player, Nilsson played 116 games for Sweden, making him the sixth most capped player in the Swedish national team. He also won the UEFA Cup and played in the semi-finals of the World Cup, the European Championships, and the European Cup during a playing career lasting over two decades. He won his first major honour as a manager in 2010 with Malmö FF when the team won Allsvenskan. On 1 April 2011 FC Copenhagen confirmed Nilsson as the club's new manager to replace Ståle Solbakken who left Copenhagen to become manager of 1. FC Köln in the summer of 2011.[2] Nilsson joined F.C. Copenhagen on 1 June 2011 but was sacked after six months on 9 January 2012.[3]


  • Playing career 1
  • Managerial career 2
    • Coventry City 2.1
    • GAIS 2.2
    • Malmö FF 2.3
    • F.C. Copenhagen 2.4
  • Honours 3
    • Player 3.1
      • Club 3.1.1
      • Sweden 3.1.2
      • Individual 3.1.3
    • Manager 3.2
      • Club 3.2.1
      • Individual 3.2.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Playing career

Nilsson began his playing career, during which he played predominantly as a IFK Göteborg, who at that point were the pre-eminent team in Sweden.

Despite the promise that he had shown at Helsingborg, Nilsson spent most of his first two seasons with IFK on the bench. However, he did eventually establish himself in the team, first becoming a regular starter during the 1985 season. It was during the latter end of that season that IFK began their run to the semi-final of the European Cup; IFK knocked out the likes of Fenerbahçe and Aberdeen before eventually falling to Barcelona.

On 1 May 1986, shortly after IFK's European Cup exit, Nilsson made his international debut. Sweden's opponents in that game were Greece, the match ended 0–0. During the year that followed he played a key role in IFK's UEFA Cup success, during which the team knocked out, amongst others, Internazionale before beating Dundee United in the final. Besides this, IFK also won the Allsvenskan in 1987.

Nilsson left IFK in December 1989, joining Sheffield Wednesday of the English Football League First Division for £375,000. Despite being relegated at the end of his first season with the club, Nilsson decided to stay and helped them gain promotion at their first attempt. During the time he spent at Wednesday, Nilsson became a real favourite amongst the club's fans as his performances proved to be a catalyst for a footballing renaissance at Hillsborough. In the years that Nilsson played for the club, Wednesday won the League Cup in 1991, finished runner-up in the FA Cup and the League Cup in 1993, and played in Europe for the first time in thirty years. A number of Wednesday's fans still consider Nilsson to be the best right-back, and perhaps even the best foreigner, to ever play for the club. This was confirmed in 2007 when he came out top in a poll on Vital Football to find the club's greatest ever right-back.

While playing for Sheffield Wednesday, Nilsson also took part in two international tournaments for his country. The 1990 World Cup proved to be disastrous for Sweden, who were in the same group as Brazil, Scotland, and Costa Rica; Sweden lost all three matches 2–1. However, the team bounced back in Euro 1992, which they hosted, as they reached the semi-finals. Nilsson played in all the games played by Sweden in both tournaments.

In January 1994, Nilsson announced that he was suffering from homesickness and asked to be sold to a Swedish club. His manager, World Cup, he played every second as the team finished, somewhat surprisingly, in third place.

Nilsson spent the following three years playing for Helsingborg, during which time the club finished as runner-up in both the Allsvenskan and the Svenska Cupen. In 1996 he was awarded the Guldbollen, a trophy given each year to the best player from Sweden. At this point, Nilsson had planned to see out the rest of his career with his hometown club. However, in 1997 Ron Atkinson, who had signed Nilsson when he was manager at Sheffield Wednesday, made a £200,000 offer to sign him for Coventry City, an offer that Nilsson accepted.

Despite being thirty-three, Nilsson was far from being the club's oldest player; Steve Ogrizovic and Kevin Richardson were both in their late-thirties, whilst Gordon Strachan was forty. The season started poorly for Coventry, a fact that saw Strachan replace Atkinson as manager in November 1997. The managerial change did little to improve matters with Coventry spending the entire season hovering around the relegation zone. On the final day of the season the team needed to beat Tottenham Hostpur in order to remain in the Premier League, a feat which the team pulled off.

Nilsson spent one further season at Coventry before once again returning to Helsingborg, where he spent the following two seasons. The last international tournament in which Nilsson played was Euro 2000. He started Sweden's opening game against the co-hosts, Belgium, however, he was substituted at half-time in the game with a concussion after an defensive error, which allowed Bart Goor to put Belgium ahead,[4] Nilsson played no further part in the tournament. Despite this snub, he played a further four games for Sweden, the last coming on 11 October 2000 against Slovakia, the result of that game, like his international debut, was 0–0.

Under his managing years with GAIS, Nilsson occasionally had to make "Comebacks" and play himself due to player injuries.

Managerial career

Coventry City

Coventry City were relegated from the Premier League in May 2001,[5] and following a poor start to their first season in Division One, Gordon Strachan resigned from the club.[6] Nilsson was brought in as a player-caretaker manager, despite having no managerial experience, in place of Strachan.[7] Following a number of wins in his caretaker role, Nilsson was given the manager's job on a permanent basis,[8] and the club briefly topped Division One after the turn of the new year. However, Coventry City failed to live up to this early promise and the team were dogged by inconsistency for most of the season. As the Coventry fans became increasingly frustrated, Nilsson announced his retirement from playing, in order to focus on managing the club.[9] This was not to prove successful, and, with Coventry out of the play-off chase, Nilsson was sacked in April 2002.[10] He was replaced a week later by former team-mate Gary McAllister.[11]


After leaving Coventry, Nilsson briefly worked as a youth team coach at Helsingborg, before he was appointed GAIS manager on 18 December 2003.[12] The club was promoted to Allsvenskan in 2005 for the first time in six years, after beating Landskrona BoIS 2–1 on aggregate in the promotion/relegation play-off.[13]

Malmö FF

On 10 October 2007, Svenska Cupen fixture, which Malmö FF won 3–0 against Halmstad BK at Örjans Vall, Halmstad.

F.C. Copenhagen

After a long period of rumors it was announced on 1 April 2011, Nilsson would take over as manager in F.C. Copenhagen after Ståle Solbakken.[2] Nilsson joined the club on 1 June 2011.[3] On 9 January 2012, just six months after his recruitment, despite leading the Danish Superliga at the time, he was sacked and replaced by the sporting director Carsten V. Jensen.[15]




IFK Göteborg

Sheffield Wednesday

Helsingborgs IF



  • Swedish Defender of the Year: 2
1996, 1999



Malmö FF


  • Swedish Manager of the Year: 1


  1. ^ "Roland Nilsson – Century of International Appearances".  
  2. ^ a b "Roland Nilsson bliver ny cheftræner". F.C. København. Retrieved 1 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "Roland Nilsson tiltræder den 1. juni" (in Danish). FC Copenhagen. 25 May 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Belgium kick off with fine win". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 10 June 2000. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Coventry relegated at Villa". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 5 May 2001. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Strachan quits Coventry". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 10 September 2001. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Coventry's Swede dreams". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 10 September 2001. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Nilsson gets nod". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 16 October 2001. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Nilsson hangs up boots". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 8 April 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Coventry sack Nilsson and Smith". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 16 April 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  11. ^ "Coventry turn to McAllister". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 24 April 2002. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  12. ^ "Roland Nilsson ny tränare för Gais". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 27 October 2003. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mäktigt! Mitt livs skönaste kryss". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 30 October 2005. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  14. ^ "Roland Nilsson blir Malmö FF's nye tränare". Malmö FF (in Swedish). 10 October 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Josefsen, Kristian Eshøj (9 January 2012). "Chok: FCK fyrer Roland Nilsson". TV 2 Sport (Denmark) (in Danish). Retrieved 9 January 2012. 

External links

  • (Danish) F.C. Copenhagen profile
  • (Swedish) Malmö FF Profile
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