Irish international footballer James McClean has revealed that he has been diagnosed with autism. 

James McClean, 33, made the announcement on Instagram on Tuesday to raise awareness during World Autism Acceptance Week. 

McClean's daughter Willow-Ivy is also autistic and the Irish footballer said he noticed that he shared a number of similarities with his daughter. 

He said he decided to have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment following his daughter's diagnosis.

"As you all know, my daughter Willow-Ivy is autistic," McClean wrote on Instagram. 

"The last four years have been life-changing in the most amazing way but also very difficult at times as her daddy watching her overcome so many obstacles in her life and learning how to manage the challenges she faces on a daily basis.

"The more Erin [McClean's wife] and I learned about autism the more we began to recognize I was very similar to Willow in more ways than we thought.

"I see so many small traits in her that I see in myself. So I decided to go and get an ASD assessment.

"It's been a bit of a journey and now having a diagnosis I feel it's time to share it, for the week that's in it.

"I have debated for a while going public in sharing this as I've done this for Willow-Ivy, to let her know that I understand and that being autistic won't and should never hold her back from reaching her goals and dreams." 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by James McClean (@macajw)

McClean made his 98th international appearance during Ireland's 1-0 defeat to France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Monday night. McClean was born and brought up in Derry and played for the Northern Ireland national under-21 football team, but declined a call-up to the senior squad because he wanted to play for the Republic of Ireland.