Lionel Messi was asked whether he was better than Cristiano Ronaldo

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It’s not a matter of if, rather when Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will shatter a long-standing Spanish record.

The Argentine superstar is three goals away from tying Telmo Zarra’s record of 251 goals scored in Spain’s top flight, with a date at Rayo Vallecano coming up on Saturday.

[ MORE: Barca claims Messi is going nowhere ]

Not that he was thinking about it until you asked, though, according to an Associated Press report.

“Right now, I am not thinking about the record,” Messi said on Thursday. “But it will be nice to become the top scorer of one of the best leagues in the world. So many good players and scorers have played here. It will come when it is supposed to.”

Messi recently scored his 400th goal when he tallied twice against Granada last week, and has a chance to break Raul’s record for Champions League tallies if he keeps up his prodigious displays. His 68 goals are three behind the Real Madrid legend, and Cristiano Ronaldo has 69. It’s a race.

The Barca striker was asked, rather audaciously, if he is better than CR7.

More from the AP:

“I don’t compete with Cristiano at all. I just play my game and do my duty,” Messi said.

“And I am not interested in competing with him or anybody else. I’ve said many times that individual awards are the less important ones for me. I hope to be able to play a great season and help my team achieve the goals we have set at the beginning of the season. And in a club such as Barcelona those goals are winning titles.”

How diplomatic.