In the 2002–03 Turkish league season Washington scored 10 goals in 17 games, but was subsequently released by Fenerbahçe because of his health problems.
Washington was submitted to a coronary catheterization. Once recovered, physicians told him that playing football would not represent a risk to his condition. He then signed with Brazilian club Atlético Paranaense where he was 2004Série A top-scorer with 34 goals and broke the league's record. For his recovery, he was dubbed Coração Valente, the title of the movie Braveheart in Brazil.
In 2005, he moved to Japan to play for Tokyo Verdy in the J1 League. He had a successful season there with 22 goals in 33 games but could not save his club from relegation. In 2006, he transferred to Urawa Red Diamonds and helped the Reds win their first ever J1 League title, becoming the top scorer in the league with 26 goals in 26 games. In 2007, he was the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup top scorer, helping his team to a third-place finish in the competition.
On 21 December 2007 Washington returned to Brazil to play for Fluminense. His contract was valid through the end of 2008. Washington finished as the 2008 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A top scorer, with 21 goals, tied with Keirrison and Kléber Pereira. Even though he renewed his contract with São Paulo until the end of the 2010 season he eventually returned to Fluminense on July 27, 2010. He played a major role in the team's run to win the 2010 Série A, scoring 10 goals throughout the competition and being involved in the play that guaranteed the team's championship (in the last game of the season).
On 13 January 2011, while training with Fluminense in Mangaratiba, Washington announced his retirement from football.