Luc Nilis

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Luc Nilis
Personal information
Full name Luc Gilbert Cyrille Nilis
Date of birth (1967-05-25) 25 May 1967 (age 52)
Place of birth Hasselt, Belgium
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
PSV Eindhoven (striker coach)
Youth career
1973–1980 Halveweg Zonhoven
1980–1984 Winterslag
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1986 Winterslag 47 (16)
1986–1994 Anderlecht 224 (127)
1994–2000 PSV Eindhoven 164 (110)
2000–2001 Aston Villa 3 (1)
Total 438 (254)
National team
1982–1983 Belgium U16 6 (3)
1982–1983 Belgium U17 3 (2)
1983–1984 Belgium U18 8 (1)
1983–1985 Belgium U19 11 (6)
1986–1987 Belgium U21 3 (0)
1988–2000 Belgium 56 (10)
Teams managed
2005–2006 K. Heusden-Zolder S.K. (technical director)
2006–2011 PSV Eindhoven (scout)
2007–2010 PSV Eindhoven (assistant)
2011 Kasımpaşa SK (assistant)
2011–2013 Gençlerbirliği S.K. (assistant)
2015– PSV Eindhoven (striker coach)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Luc Gilbert Cyrille Nilis (born 25 May 1967), nicknamed Lucky Luc, is a former Belgian football striker. He enjoyed a successful career in his native Belgium and, in particular, in the Netherlands with PSV Eindhoven. However, his playing days came to an end in the 2000–01 season after breaking his leg in a match with his club Aston Villa following a clash with Ipswich Town goalkeeper Richard Wright.

Club career[edit]

His former clubs include K.F.C. Winterslag, R.S.C. Anderlecht, PSV Eindhoven and Aston Villa.

Having left Anderlecht for Eindhoven in 1994, Nilis topped the Dutch scoring charts in the 1995–96 season, plundering 21 goals,[1] he continued that form into 1996–97 – leading the pack by December 1996 with 13[2] – before matching his previous total,[1] in a season that ended with PSV winning the league title for the first time in five years.[3] In late 1997, Nilis scored thrice in three games over a fifteen-day period, all against Shay Given; with a goal at Newcastle United in the 1997–98 UEFA Champions League group stage coming in between goals for Belgium against the Republic of Ireland.[4] During his time with PSV, Nilis formed one of the deadliest partnerships in Europe with team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy, who signed for PSV in 1998.[3] In the 1998–99 season, Nilis and van Nistelrooy scored 55 league goals between them. Van Nistelrooy finished as top-scorer,[1] Nilis came second. In the following season, Nilis' last for PSV, they scored 48 league goals between them.

Then, after 6 years in the Netherlands, Nillis joined Aston Villa on a Bosman transfer in July 2000.[5] Nilis' Villa career started well, as he scored on his debut in the UEFA Intertoto Cup against Dukla Příbram on 22 July 2000[6] before going on to score on his league debut against Chelsea on 27 August 2000.[7] Then in a league match against Ipswich Town on 9 September 2000, Nilis was involved in a clash with goalkeeper Richard Wright[8] that left him with a double compound fracture of his right shin.[9] At one point the injury became infected and Nilis even feared a possible amputation;[10] this hypothesis was later ruled out, although his playing career was effectively ended.

Ronaldo occasionally names Nilis as one of the best strike partners he had played with despite sharing only a brief time with him at PSV.[11] Ruud van Nistelrooy has also stated on several occasions that the Belgian was one of the best players, if not the best, he had ever played with.[3]

International career[edit]

Nilis played 56 times for the Belgian national team, scoring 10 times. A prolific goalscorer with his clubs, he scored his first goal for Belgium only on his 24th cap (a 9–0 win against Zambia).[12]

Nilis played in the FIFA World Cups in 1994 and 1998. Qualification for the latter was sealed with Nilis' goals in each leg of Belgium's playoff against the Irish Republic.[4] Nilis dropped out of international football after the 1998 Finals, reportedly in response to an "unhealthy atmosphere within the squad and their lack of achievement".[12] However, with control of the Belgian national side having changed,[5] Nilis returned to the international fold in November 1999,[12] in time for Euro 2000, co-hosted by his birth-country Belgium and the Netherlands.

International goals[edit]

"Score and result lists Belgium's goals first."[13]

Coaching career[edit]

After his playing career Beringen-Heusden-Zolder were his next port of call, becoming technical director in 2005, not long before the club's liquidation after financial difficulties.[3] Nilis took a job with PSV, first as a scout and then training the club's forwards. In January 2011, Nilis became assistant manager with Turkish club Kasımpaşa Spor Kulübü, followed by another assistant manager stint with Gençlerbirliği S.K., also in Turkey. In April 2015 he was re-hired by PSV as a striker coach.[14]


Nilis's father, Roger (1938–2011), played as a professional footballer in Belgium in the 1960s.[15]




PSV Eindhoven



  1. ^ a b c "Topscorers". Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  2. ^ "Hierro grabs crucial goal as Real Madrid stay on top". The Nation. Bangkok. Reuters. 2 December 1996. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Beresford, Jack (9 September 2016). "Luc Nilis: The PSV Eindhoven hitman who ran out of luck at Aston Villa". Loaded. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Coughlan, David (13 June 2016). "Belgium legend Luc Nilis opens up about the 1998 World Cup playoff against Ireland & our chances at Euro 2016".
  5. ^ a b Lansley, Pete (9 June 2000). "Nilis turns blind eye to Villa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Merson off in Villa win". BBC. 22 July 2000. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  7. ^ "James gives Chelsea helping hand". BBC. 27 August 2000. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Nilis injury mars Villa win at Ipswich". BBC Sport. 9 September 2000. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  9. ^ Peter O'Rourke. "Nilis making good progress". Sky Sports. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Nilis feared amputation". BBC Sport. 11 November 2000. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c "Luc Nilis". BBC Sport. 14 May 2000. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Luc Nilis joins PSV's backroom team". 17 April 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  15. ^ Chris Mayer (4 July 2011). "Belgian Legends – Luc Nilis". The Belgian Waffle. Archived from the original on 1 January 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2014.

External links[edit]