ELF: Vienna Vikings sign the GFL’s leading rusher Karri Pajarinen

The Vienna Vikings of the European League of Football have signed the German Football League’s leading rusher in Finnish talent Karri Pajarinen.

The talented Finn is thrilled to be joining the defending ELF champions as they look to hoist the trophy for consecutive seasons:

Vienna has a well-established culture of winning, which has brought them continuous success over the years. It is also one of the leading organizations in Europe, with the best possible facilities to accommodate players’ needs. So, I feel it really is a privilege to get to join the Vikings family!”

The 5’10”, 205-pound running back was the German Football League’s top back last season rushing for 1,301 yards and 17 touchdowns for the runner-up Potsdam Royals in only 11 contests. Pajarinen’s hard running style led to him averaging 6.4 yards a carry and 118 yards a game as the Royals had the league’s top offense, earning GFL All-Star honors.

In 2021, Pajarinen ran for 259 yards and three touchdowns in five games for the Helsinki Roosters. In 2019, the Finn ended the season with 846 rushing yards, good for third in the league. Besides his skills on the ground, Pajarinen is also a skilled receiver out of the backfield.

The Finn, has been a longstanding part of the powerhouse Helsinki Roosters since he began his football career at 13 years old. The 24-year-old has been one of the Maple League’s top running backs the past few seasons and a staple of the Finnish national team since 2017.

IFAF – 2018 – ECs- August 4 – Sweden vs Finland Karri Pajarinen photo Samppa Toivonen

The Finnish national team star joins his quarterback form last year in Potsdam in Chris Helbig and a stacked Vienna offense, which brings back receiver Florian Bierbaumer, and offensive linemen Matthew Daltry and Locus Holub. Pajarinen could join last year’s go-to tailback Anton Wegen in what could potentially be the ELF’s best European backfield. However, there has been no announcement on Wegen’s return to the Vikings as of yet.

Read more about Pajarinen’s 2022 season here:

Watch Pajarinen’s Highlights Here:


Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and