In 1993 Electroputere sold him to Steaua Bucharest for USD90,000, which was at that time a record fee paid by a Romanian football club. It was however more than 20 times less the amount Galatasaray paid for Ilie in 1996 to be able to transfer him.
After only one an a two years at Galatasaray when he was not used very often, Ilie signed with Valencia CF. This was an important step in Ilie's career, as he re-discovered the pleasure of playing football and scoring goals. In the second half of the 1997 - 98 season he played 17 games for Valencia and scored 12 goals, being a very important part of the team.
The beginning of the end for Ilie's career was in 2000. Suffering many injuries, he stayed away from Valencia's squad most of the time and was finally released from his contract in 2002, the year when he won the Spanish Football Championship. It was the seventh title Ilie won, the previously six being with Steaua (four) and Galatasaray (two).
Deportivo Alavés was the fifth club Ilie played for. It happened during the 2002-03 season, but the team's relegation at the end of the season broke the contract and Ilie moved back to Turkey, this time to play with Beşiktaş J.K., where he was requested by the team's coach, Mircea Lucescu.
After only one year with Beşiktaş, Ilie signed a contract with FC Zurich in 2005 but in the following year after failing to recover from a knee injury, Adrian Ilie announced his decision to retire from football.