Allan Nielsen (born 13 March 1971) is a Danish former professional football player whose most notable period of football was four years at English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur with whom he won the 1999 League Cup, scoring the winning goal.
He was also an integral part of the Denmark national football team from 1996 to 2001, playing a total of 44 matches and scoring seven goals. He competed for Denmark in the international 1996 European Championship (Euro 1996), 1998 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2000 tournaments.
Nielsen was born in Esbjerg, Denmark. Having never played a senior match, he moved abroad in 1989 to play for German Bundesliga team Bayern Munich at the age of 18. In his three years at the club, he played only six minutes in a single game in May 1991, as he came on as a substitute in a 7–3 win against Hertha Berlin. Failing to break through at Bayern Munich, he left the club in the summer 1991. Nielsen initially signed a three-year contract with FC Sion in June 1991, but he never played a game for the club. He swiftly moved back to Denmark, to play with Odense BK in the Danish Superliga championship, where he debuted in September 1991.
At Odense, he was a part of the team that won the 1993 Danish Cup and he was then brought to league rivals FC Copenhagen in 1994. He played a single season for the club, where he was team captain, before he moved to main rivals Brøndby IF in 1995. In his year at Brøndby, the club won the 1995–96 Danish Superliga championship, and Nielsen was named Brøndby IF 1995 Player of the Year. He was called up for the Danish national team under national manager Richard Møller Nielsen. Nielsen made his debut against Armenia on 16 August 1995. He came on as a substitute and following 45 seconds on the pitch, he scored the second goal in Denmark's 2–0 win. He was called up to represent Denmark at the Euro '96 tournament hosted by England, where he scored one goal in his only match, the 3–0 win against Turkey.
After Euro 1996, Brøndby received a transfer fee of £1.65 million, when Nielsen moved to England to play for FA Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. He played nearly 100 league matches for Tottenham, and he was a pivotal player when the club won the 1999 League Cup. In the final minute, he scored a diving header to give Tottenham a 1–0 win against Leicester City, and Nielsen was subsequently honoured as "Man of the Match". Following controversies with Tottenham manager George Graham, Nielsen moved down a league in March 2000, when he was loaned out to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English First Division in a three-month deal. During his time at Tottenham, he represented the Danish national team in five games at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, scoring a single goal against South Africa, as well as in two games at the Euro 2000 tournament.
He permanently moved away from Tottenham after Euro 2000, in July 2000, to play for English First Division team Watford. He was signed by Watford manager Graham Taylor for £2.5million, which at the time was the highest fee the club had ever paid for a player. After three seasons at the club, Nielsen returned to Denmark in 2003 for Superliga relegation battlers Herfølge Boldklub in a role as player/assistant coach. Following a bad first half of the 2003–04 season, head coach Johnny Petersen was fired and Nielsen was promoted to player/coach, in a coaching partnership with former national team player and Esbjerg native Michael Schjønberg. They managed to finish just above the relegation zone at the end of the season. For the subsequent 2004–05 season, Nielsen decided to focus exclusively on coaching, but to no avail as Herfølge was relegated, and he announced his coaching days were over.
Today he works as coach at Viborg Sports College.
Nielsen has bought the rights for the Monta brand in Denmark and arranges Street Football events.Scores and results list Denmark's goal tally first.
Danish Cup: 1992–93
Danish Superliga: 1995–96
League Cup: 1998–99
Alan Hardaker Trophy: 1999
Danish Player of the Year: 1996