Bayern Munich's David Alaba 'stronger' after Austria's Euro 2016 flop
Bayern Munich defender David Alaba has said that he has become a better player as a result of Austria's poor performance at Euro 2016.
Alaba, 24, was the star of a team that dominated their qualifying group and were tipped by many as dark horses to go far in France.
But they crashed out in the group stage after drawing 0-0 with eventual champions Portugal and losing to Hungary and Iceland, scoring just one goal in their three matches.
"I've got stronger as a result of it," Alaba told Bild. "It shaped me as a person but also as a player on the pitch.
"The criticism after the European Championship made me even stronger."
Before the tournament, Alaba had won a German league and cup double with Bayern.
Despite the disappointment that followed in the summer, he feels there are positives to be drawn from Austria's struggles.
"I've still taken a lot from the tournament in France -- gathered a lot of experience," he said. "I've accepted the criticism in Austria that followed our exit.
"It was a new experience for me since I'm still relatively young."
Austria face an uphill struggle to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, having won only one of their opening four qualifiers.
Mark covers European football for ESPN FC. Twitter: @mrodden