There are still those who dismiss the Stoke skipper as little more than a hard man in one of the Barclays Premier League's most physically imposing teams.
However, speaking at a children's coaching clinic at St George's Park as part of the Football Association and McDonald's Community Awards programme, Neville said: "I don't go along with the way in which people look at Stoke players.
"They are physical and they are aggressive but they also have a lot of quality.
"He is a good football player and deserves respect for that.
"He is a great story and the fact he is in the England squad this week is something I am proud of."