Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor believes Gary Neville's passion for the game makes him respected even by rival fans.
Neville, who will turn 31 on Saturday when Manchester United visit Anfield in the FA Cup, could still face punishment after appearing to taunt Liverpool supporters following Rio Ferdinand's last-gasp winner last month at Old Trafford.
The fifth-round tie at the weekend is expected to be a heated encounter but Taylor insists Neville knows his responsibilities as United captain.
Taylor told PA Sport: 'Knowing Gary as I do - he is a PFA representative - the last thing he will be is fazed by going to Anfield, quite the reverse.
'While a lot has been made of his celebrations, with a lot of Liverpool fans there is a grudging respect for Gary, as there is from Manchester United fans for fine players such as Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.
'He's a great player and a great ambassador for the club, he's very passionate about the club just as Steven Gerrard is with Liverpool.
'Gary knows how to deal with things, not just celebrating but PFA thoughts on other issues such as over-the-top tackles, and the celebration of goals is a strong issue.
'Any celebrating is not to be done in front of opposition fans, neither would we want it done in front of the opposition team.
'That's the ideal situation but sometimes it's difficult to know what to do in the spur of the moment.'
United and Liverpool have a fierce rivalry, with Taylor hoping Saturday's clash passes without controversy on or off the pitch.
'The rivalry has been intense, we want good healthy rivalry with no crowd trouble,' he added. 'Knowing Gary he will be aware and mindful of the situation.'