- Not to be confused with Adrian Ilie (footballer born 1981)
|Full name||Adrian Bucurel Ilie|
|Date of birth||20 April 1974|
|Place of birth||Craiova, Romania|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Left winger
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Adrian Bucurel Ilie (Romanian pronunciation: [adriˈan iˈlie]; born 20 April 1974) is a Romanian former international footballer. He was nicknamed "Cobra" by his former coach at Valencia, Claudio Ranieri, because of his spectacular skills and goalscoring prowess.
Ilie began his career with his local club FC Electroputere Craiova before transferring to Romania's biggest club FC Steaua București in 1993. During his three years with Steaua, Ilie helped the club to three consecutive Romanian league titles and the 1995–96 Cupa României.
In 1996, Ilie was purchased by Turkish side Galatasaray for an amount of €2.35 million, where he won the Turkish championship in 1996–97. After an impressive season, he moved from Galatasaray to Valencia CF for a reported US$ 7 million, where he replaced in the squad the Brazilian star Romário and took over his no. 11 jersey. At Valencia he impressed from his debut, scoring twelve goals in 17 matches, and thus getting the nickname of "Cobra" from coach Claudio Ranieri, because he was as "lethal as a cobra". At the Mestalla, Ilie made a remarkable attacking duo together with team mate Claudio López, helping Los Che to win the 1998–99 Copa del Rey. In 2000, under Héctor Cúper's command, Valencia reached the final of the UEFA Champions League, where Ilie appeared as a substitute for Gerardo in a 3–0 loss to Real Madrid CF. Two years later, Ilie was a member of Rafael Benítez's 2001–02 La Liga winning squad, scoring only two goals in 10 matches because of injuries.
In 2002, Ilie left Valencia to join Deportivo Alavés but the club was relegated to the Segunda División in his only season. He then returned to Turkey to play for Beşiktaş J.K. before transferring to Switzerland's FC Zürich a year later. In 2005, he signed with Belgian side Beerschot AC but never played with the club due to a severe ankle injury, resulting in his retirement from football at the age of only 31.
However, in 2009, he decided to come back into professional football after some discussions with Russian club FC Terek Grozny but he had to quit after failing his medical tests.
At the international level, Ilie won 55 caps for Romania, scoring 13 goals. He played at the 1996 European Football Championship, 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 European Football Championship. At 1998 FIFA World Cup, he scored against Colombia one of the most spectacular goals of the tournament. In the period between 1997-2000, alongside team mate Gheorghe Hagi, he was Romania's national team leader, scoring important goals and impressing with his skills. In 1998 he won the title of Romania's footballer of the year.
- Steaua Bucharest
- Primera División: 2001–02
- Spanish Cup: 1998–99
- Supercopa de España: 1999
- UEFA Intertoto Cup: 1998
- UEFA Champions League Runner-up: 1999–2000, 2000–01
- Swiss Cup: 2004–05
- "Adrian Bucurel Ilie - International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
- "Adrian Ilie La 'Cobra' más letal del Valencia de Ranieri". discoveryfootball.com (in Spanish). 27 January 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
- De Cobra stuurt zijn kat Het Nieuwsblad. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
- Adrian Ilie Statistics FIFA. Retrieved 22 January 2010.
- "Adrian Ilie" (in Romanian). SteauaFC.com. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "Ilie, Adrian". National-Football-Teams. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "Adrian Ilie". BDFutbol. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "Switzerland 2004/05". RSSSF. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "Dinamo land Valencia striker Ilie". UEFA. 21 September 2001. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
|Steaua Top Scorer