"I had dreamt about becoming a world champion with Austria or winning a European trophy with FK Austria, but I never dreamt about winning this vote," he said. "There were great footballers before my time, there were great ones during my playing career and there will be great ones in the future.
"This election is the greatest thing I could achieve, but it has been a subjective decision and others would also have deserved this honour," added Prohaska, after he beat Austria's current national coach, Hans Krankl, in a telephone poll of Austrian football fans.
Prohaska, a technically-gifted playmaker, scored ten goals in 83 games for his country in the 1970s and 80s and established his reputation over 12 seasons with FK Austria. He also played for FC Internazionale and AS Roma, and was named Austria's Golden Player as part of UEFA's Jubilee celebrations.
Ernst Happel, a European Champion Clubs' Cup winner with Feyenoord and Hamburger SV, was voted Austrian coach of the century, while Anton Polster was honoured as the best goalscorer. Austria's most-capped player, Andreas Herzog of Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy, received a special honour for his 103 caps while SK Rapid Wien youngster Andreas Ivanschitz was named as the outstanding talent for the future.
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