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is a former footballer
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...
. He was a striker
Forwards, also known as strikers, are the players on a team in association football who play nearest to the opposing team's goal, and are therefore principally responsible for scoring goals...
in his early career, but was later used as a midfielder
A midfielder is an association football position. Some midfielders play a more defensive role, while others blur the boundaries between midfielders and forwards. The number of midfielders a team uses during a match may vary, depending on the team's formation and each individual player's role...
. He scored 19 goals in 62 matches for the Norway national football team
The Norway national football team represents Norway in association football and is controlled by the Football Association of Norway, the governing body for football in Norway. Norway's home ground is Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo and their head coach is Egil Olsen...
On club level Nilsen played for Viking
Viking Fotballklubb is a Norwegian football club from the city of Stavanger. The club was founded in 1899 as football was becoming increasingly popular...
, being team captain during their heyday in the early 1970s. With Nilsen a commanding figure, they won three league
Tippeligaen is a Norwegian professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the Norwegian football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. The league is also unofficially known under its neutral name Eliteserien , although the name has never been official...
championships in 1972, 1973 and 1974. The supporters nicknamed him "Olav Viking".