"I know all this has to end sometime," he said quietly. "I won't always have all this fame. But when I'm through as a player, I'll still be a man. I know I'll be well set in business and material things, and I hope I'll still have all these friends around me. But, of course, you can't tell. I guess that is when I'll separate my real friends from my fans."
He smiled at his own phrasemaking, but he did not seem to be eager to start the separating. His supremacy has recently been challenged by Portugal's Eus�bio, hero of the World Cup, and it will undoubtedly be challenged by others soon. Pel� knows that someday, perhaps while he is injured, one of the challenges will be successful and soccer will be dominated by someone else. And, despite his occasional remarks about "consequences" and annoyances, Pel� likes it at the top and wants to stay there. "Ever since I first started playing," he said, "I always saw the shadow of somebody behind me, trying to beat me out of my position. Even when they started saying I was the king, I didn't feel completely secure. I still see that shadow behind me now. I know it's there, and I know, at all times, that I can never afford to let up."