Adrian Ilie

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Not to be confused with Adrian Ilie (footballer born 1981)
Adrian Ilie
Personal information
Full name Adrian Bucurel Ilie
Date of birth (1974-04-20) 20 April 1974 (age 41)
Place of birth Craiova, Romania
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Left winger
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1993 Electroputere Craiova 31 (12)
1993–1996 Steaua Bucureşti 85 (28)
1996–1998 Galatasaray 30 (12)
1998–2002 Valencia 84 (29)
2002–2003 Deportivo Alavés 22 (6)
2003–2004 Beşiktaş 13 (6)
2004–2005 Zürich 23 (7)
Total 287 (100)
National team
1993–2005[1] Romania 55 (13)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Adrian Bucurel Ilie (Romanian pronunciation: [adriˈan iˈlie]; born April 20, 1974) is a Romanian former international footballer. His nickname was Cobra, because of his skills to attack on the field.


At the international level, Ilie won 55 caps for Romania, scoring 13 goals.[2] He played at the 1996 European Football Championship, 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2000 European Football Championship.[3] 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. Al club level he was transferred in 1997 from Steaua Bucharest to Turkish side Galatasaray for an amount of 2.35 million €. After an impressive season, he moved from Galatasaray to Valencia CF for a reported 4.7 million €, where he replaced in the squad the Brazilian star Romario and took over his no. 11 jersey. At Valencia he impressed from his debut, scoring 12 goals in 17 matches, and thus getting the nickname of "Cobra" from coach Claudio Ranieri, because he was as "lethal as a cobra". At "Mestalla" he made a remarkable attacking duo together with team mate - Claudio Lopez. In 2000, under Hector Cuper's command, he subbed Gerardo in the 3-0 loss of the UEFA Champions League final against Spanish giants Real Madrid. Two years later, in 2002, he won with Valencia CF the Spanish League title, although the head coach Rafael Benitez offered him few chances to prove his class, he managed to score 2 goals in 10 matches. Due to several injuries, he had to retire from football at the age of only 31. He tried a comeback in 2009, at the Russian side Terek Grozny, but he didn't pass the physical tests.

Personal life[edit]

He is the brother of Sabin Ilie.[citation needed]


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ilie Dumitrescu
Steaua Top Scorer
Succeeded by
Ion Vlădoiu