Man Utd legend Neville: Liverpool's Suarez helluva footballer

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has defended Liverpool's controversial striker Luis Suarez.

Neville wrote in the Mail on Sunday: "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.

"I understand why some people will never like him. The racial abuse he directed at Patrice Evra is totally unacceptable in England, whatever he says about what passes for acceptable language in Uruguay. But he has served his punishment for a big mistake.

"But the supposed cheating, the diving, the lack of sportsmanship? 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. Cheating, for me, is doping, cheating is match-fixing, despicable actions which undermine the whole essence of sport.

"When I look at Suarez I see one hell of a footballer, a player whose name you can be sure will be dominating United’s preparations. This is no show-pony. 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."

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