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11 Stars Who Scored Two Or More Free-Kicks In One Game

Following Nicolas Pepe's two free-kick goals for Arsenal on Thursday night, here are 11 other high-profile players who struck a brace or more from direct set-pieces in a single match. FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi features, but does Cristiano Ronaldo?

Click through the gallery to see Pepe and 11 other players who scored two or more free-kicks in one game.

At the Emirates Stadium on Thursday night, Pepe, who has struggled since his big-money switch to the Gunners in the latest transfer window, finally showed his capabilities when he rescued the Gunners with two superbly-taken free-kick goals.

With Vitoria de Guimaraes leading 2-1 in the 74th minute, manager Unai Emery introduced Arsenal's record signing, and six minutes later, he equalised with a brilliant set-piece into the bottom right-hand corner.

His celebrations were subdued, perhaps due to his poor form going into the match, but that was not the last of it. In extra-time, Pepe curled another one into the goal from a free-kick to win the game for his new club, earning Emery's praise.

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"Every new player usually needs time for adaptation. Pepe is a very good player, and we believe in him totally," he said, according to Sky Sports.

"We are very happy for him and us because he has two goals from two set-pieces which were perfect. He was trying last week with set-piece shooting on the training ground and I was watching his shooting.

"He is improving and tonight he has two goals, which are important for us and for him. He's continuing the adaptation in his process and as soon as he can adapt, that's better for us.

"The most important thing is the three points and that some individual players can improve, that they can take confidence for us and for them."

Pepe's magic is reminiscent of what Messi did in LaLiga against Espanyol last year, where he also struck gold with two free-kicks in one game. Amazingly, the Argentine has managed this twice in his career, with the first brace coming against Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup in 2015.

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Juninho Pernambucano, the man with the most free-kick goals in history, achieved three braces of free-kicks in a single match, as did Portugal talisman Ronaldo, while there have been a few others who scored a hat-trick of free-kicks in one game, among them Sinisa Mihajlovic and Kostas Frantzeskos.

Do you think Pepe's two set-piece goals will boost his confidence? Let us know in the comments section below.

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