Per Nielsen

Infobox Football biography
playername= Per Nielsen
fullname = Per Lundgren Nielsen
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1973|10|15
cityofbirth = Århus
countryofbirth = Denmark
height = height|m=1.91
currentclub = Brøndby IF
position = Defender
youthyears = 1979-1993
youthclubs = Brøndby IF
years = 1993-2008
clubs = Brøndby IF
caps(goals) = 390 (23)
nationalyears = 2002-2006
nationalteam = Denmark
nationalcaps(goals) = 10 (0)
pcupdate = 21 March 2008
ntupdate = 20 March 2008

Per Lundgren Nielsen (born October 15, 1973) is a retired Danish professional football (soccer) player who played in the central defense of Brøndby IF in the Danish Superliga his entire club career. With Brøndby, Nielsen won five Danish championships and three Danish Cups since his senior debut in 1993, and from 2002 to 2008 he was the team captain. He played 10 matches for the Denmark national football team and is noted for 19 matches for the national under-21 team from 1994 to 1996.

Biography

Born in Århus, Per Nielsen's parents moved to Brøndby when he was a child, and he enrolled at Brøndby IF at the age of five. He was called up to play for the national under-21 team in March 1993, and Nielsen made his senior debut in the Brøndby IF jersey on June 26, 1993, and was touted as the long-term successor of central defender Uche Okechukwu. He moved into the senior squad, coming from a Brøndby youth team that sported several later first team regulars, including Kim Daugaard, Allan Ravn and later Danish national team player Ebbe Sand. [Kurt Stendal, "Brøndbys unge garde", "Berlingske Tidende", 6 December 1993.] He became a mainstay in the team during the 1995-96 season as Brøndby won the Danish championship, and he has since then been a regular starter.

Despite winning several trophies with Brøndby, Nielsen never broke into the Danish national team, but he was selected to play for the league national team, consisting of the best players from the domestic Danish Superliga championship. He went on his first trip with the league national team in 1997, to the US Cup in California, United States. He likewise took part in the league national team campaign in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela in 1999, with injuries forcing him out of the 1998 tour. Following the 2001-02 Danish championship triumph with Brøndby, goalkeeper Mogens Krogh retired, and Nielsen was chosen as new team captain. He finally debuted for the Danish national team in September 2002 as a late substitute, and he would go on to be among the fringe players of the Danish squad. After his second Danish Cup triumph in 2003, Per Nielsen was elected the 2003 Brøndby IF "Player of the Year".

In 2004, the Danish football players' association announced a strike action. Brøndby was still in European competition, and would be forced to field a team consisting of retired Brøndby professionals, youth team players and recent signings who had yet to become members of the players' association, in the August 2004 UEFA Cup qualification re-match against FK Ventspils. Two days before the match, Per Nielsen and team mate Dan Anton Johansen broke the strike and returned to the Brøndby training, [da icon [http://www.brondby.com/article.asp?aid=33698 Brøndby IF - 2004] , Brøndby IF, 4 January 2005.] causing a lot of controversy in the process. The day after, the players' and football clubs' associations reached a provisorical agreement, [da icon [http://www.danskmetal.dk/sw18806.asp?usepf=true OK04: Spillerkonflikt afblæst] , Dansk Metal 25 August 2004.] and Brøndby's first team players were selected for the match, though they were eliminated on aggregate.

Nielsen was once again included in the Danish league national team's trip to California in 2004, where he made his 10th appearance for the team, with injuries forcing him out of the 2003 tour. In January 2006, Per Nielsen was called up for his sixth trip with the Danish league national team. However, he chose not to travel with the team to the Carlsberg Cup in Hong Kong, citing personal reasons, which national team coach Morten Olsen fully supported. [da icon [http://www.dbu.dk/news/newsShow.aspx?id=41183 Ligalandsholds-afbud fra Per Nielsen] , DBU, 5 January 2006.]

In February 2008, Nielsen chose to resign from the position of team captain, stating that he would spend his remaining one and a half years at Brøndby helping the club move on, also if that meant his taking a place on the bench. [da icon [http://www.brondby.com/article.asp?aid=45940 Per Nielsen overdrager anførerhvervet] , Brøndby IF, 22 February 2008.] Stefán Gíslason was named his successor.

Per Nielsen announced in late June 2008 that he would retire as an active footballer. Instead he will continue as a scout in Brøndby. His last game in the blue and yellow jersey will be his testimonial game against Spanish Deportivo La Coruna the 12th of July 2008 [ [http://www.brondby.com/article.asp?aid=47510&id=5 Per Nielsen testimonial mod La Coruna] , Brøndby IF, 27 June 2008.] .

Honours

*Danish Superliga
**Winners (5): 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2004-05
*Danish Cup
**Winners (4): 1997-98, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2007-08

References

External links

* [http://www.dbu.dk/lbase/playerInfo.aspx?playerid=2319 Danish national team profile]
*da icon [http://www.brondby.com/player.asp?sid=7&id=33 Brøndby IF profile]
*da icon [http://www.perper.dk PerPer fansite]
* [http://resol.dr.dk/sportservice_person.aspx?personid=94987 Career stats] , by Danmarks Radio


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