By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The Uruguayan had an incident-littered 2012, getting involved in a racial abuse saga with Manchester United's Patrice Evra and vilified as the face of diving. Nonetheless, that has not stopped Suarez from establishing himself as the Premier League's second-highest goal-scorer behind Robin van Persie.
In his column for the Daily Mail, Neville explained why every club would want the former Ajax man in their starting 11 despite the controversy that seems to follow him.
"He's exactly the kind of player you would want in your team. And, as a fan, you would love to see him on your side," he wrote.
"Liverpool fans sing: 'We all dream of a team of Carraghers.' But now they could just as well chant about a team full of players like Suarez, a fighter who will chase down the ball, one of the most skilful players in the Premier League, and a player who this season has had more touches in the opposition's penalty area than anyone in the top flight."
Days into the new year, Suarez found himself in the middle of another debate when he scored against Mansfield in an FA Cup tie after supposedly handling the ball. Critics have once again labelled the Liverpool forward a cheat, but Neville believed the term was used too loosely in Suarez's case.
"For me, it hardly merits the discussion time we give it. I haven't got a problem with the handball against Mansfield other than that it was a poor decision that went against a non-League club and might have cost them a much-needed replay. But I've never heard the word cheat used so cheaply as in recent weeks by former players and pundits," he stated.
"Cheating, for me, is doping, cheating is match-fixing, despicable actions which undermine the whole essence of sport. It's a harsh environment, where not everything turns out fairly, just as in everyday life. What happened against Mansfield was an injustice. But it wasn't cheating."
The former right-back also considered Suarez to be as important to the Anfield faithful as Reds legends Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.
"This is a player who doesn't know when he's beaten. In that respect he's better than Fernando Torres, who you feel might get despondent when things aren't going well. Not Suarez. He'd be in your face, scrapping every minute of the game, even if all hope was lost," Neville noted.
"Liverpool are going through a difficult time and I'm sure their fans will feel he represents the club's spirit on the pitch, almost in the way that Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard do. He might have learnt his football on the streets of Salto and Montevideo, but you could almost imagine him having grown up around Anfield, between those back-to-back terraced houses, such is his commitment to his team's cause."
Suarez will feature for Liverpool in their visit to Old Trafford to play Manchester United on Sunday.