ELF: 2024 Madrid Bravos – A Roster Breakdown

By Michael Voitek

The entire European League of Football is wondering about this Madrid Bravos team who joined the ELF this year. The expansion franchise will have to battle for prospects in an already thin country for players, but they seem to have prepared well and will be ready to battle as the new member of the ELF.

Let’s break down their roster to see if they can compete with the other teams.



The Bravos made a big splash in signing former Vienna Vikings quarterback Chris Helbig. It sounds like a good move to get a veteran signal caller who has experience playing in big games in front of big crowds, but to me, this can be a weak spot. Helbig played okay last year, but he seemed to struggle in some games, being saved by his outstanding team in a number of them. In the playoffs, he threw for four touchdowns but he also had three turnovers and they eventually lost the game. Those numbers won’t get it done in this league, so we’ll look to see if he can clean up his play behind center for a new team.

Running Back

They made an excellent move in signing Dwayne Obi to be their star running back. Obi rushed for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns last year in the German Football League with the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions. He should provide a much-needed boost to this offense.

Wide Receiver

The Bravos use an A-import on WR and get a true baller in Willie Patterson. Patterson won a ring last year with the Rhein Fire and will look to bring some experience to the receiving corps. He will also have Jean Claude Madin Cerezo helping him out. The former Hamburg Sea Devil wideout will help take some pressure off Patterson and open things up for Helbig.

Tight End

In the first true poaching of this team from the Barcelona Dragons, they signed Raul Cernuda. Cernuda had a solid season last year, bringing in 25 catches and adding three scores. He also just wound up the Spanish National League of American Football season with the Badalona Dracs.

Offensive Line

They have a really nice offensive line starring Connor Bolton (2023 Fehervar, 2022 Berlin), former All Star Robin Fensch, and Celestin Ngimbi (Barcelona Dragons). This line will create gaping holes for Obi and lead to a very nice rushing attack.

Connor Bolton


Defensive line

In a not often seen move, the Bravos decided not to use either an A or an E import on the defensive line, but they did sign ELF Champion (Rhein Fire) and All-Star Alejandro Fernandez. Fernandez was a second team all-star last year and he will look to provide plenty of support to this squad. Yago Rivero should help a bit as a young defensive end. Defensive line may be one of the few weaknesses of this team, keep an eye on it.

DL Alejandro Fernandez was an All Star with the Rhein Fire in 2023


Another weak point for this team will be their linebacking corps. Javier Carrasco Sanz and Jonell Pelie have some experience in the ELF but have never put up monster numbers. Pellie is getting up in age at 29, good for experience, bad for speed. We’ll see if they can keep up with the best offenses in the ELF.

Defensive back

The real strength of this team comes from the defensive backfield. The Bravos have two Americans back here in Jalen Embry and Luke Glenna. Glenna, taken from the Dragons, was a first team all-star last year and Embry has plenty of experience playing at the highest level in Europe (Galaxy and Raiders). If that wasn’t enough, they also added Kevin Fortes as an E-import. Fortes was a 1st team all-star in 2022 and had a great season last year as well for the Sea Devils. This defensive backfield will be hard to throw on all year and should lead this defense.

Wrapping up

If Helbig can play well and their defensive line and linebackers hold up, the Bravos will be solid, but I have my doubts. We have to remember that none of these players have played together before. They’ll need to create a lot of chemistry in a short amount of time. It will be fun to watch them compete against the Dragons and the rest of the ELF, but we’ll see how successful they can be. Quarterback and defensive line are so important in this league and the Bravos are somewhat lacking there.

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