2024 kicked off with multiple dating rumors involving South Korean soccer players and female idols, leaving netizens surprised. But it turns out this kind of romantic pairing is not that rare.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular dating rumors involving girl group members and soccer players that occurred in the last decade:
1. Lee Kangin and Lee Naeun
On January 2, Korean media outlets reported on a dating rumor between the PSG star Lee Kangin and former APRIL member Naeun, even unveiling pictures of them together. The pair reportedly went on dates mainly at either Naeun’s house and car or when she would visit the National Soccer Team’s dorms. She also spent time with Lee Kang In at the Korean National Team’s hotel on November 14 and 15 ahead of the team’s qualifying game for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC.
However, Naeun refuted the claims, saying she and Lee Kangin were just friends. His representatives didn’t address the issue at all. But more evidence of their romance kept circulating online.
2. Hwan Ui Jo and Hyomin
T-ARA’s Hyomin and soccer star Hwang Ui Jo were first revealed to be a couple in January 2022 by Dispatch. The outlet reported that the pair have been dating long-distance for three months and were spotted together at the end of 2021 in Switzerland in front of a luxury hotel in downtown Basel. The two spent time together during Hwang Ui Jo’s downtime, as the French Ligue 1 was on a two-week break.
When the rumor broke out, neither of the stars addressed it publicly. But two months later, Hyomin’s representatives released an official statement announcing their breakup. Hyomi’s agency wrote, “They were in the process of meeting each other with good feelings, but due to the burdensome situation, they naturally decided to go separate ways. They will support each other as friends.”
3. Son Heung Min and Minah
Son Heung Min, currently South Korea’s biggest soccer star, was once embroiled in a relationship rumor with Girl’s Day member Minah. In July 2014, media outlets reported on spotting the two on dates. Minah’s agency confirmed the news, saying that the two were in the early stages of getting to know one another.
However, a few months later, the couple broke up due to their busy schedules and the excessive attention drawn to their relationship.
4. Son Heung Min and Soyoung
In 2015, a few months after Son Heung Min and Minah’s break up, he was rumored to be dating former After School member So Young. The two were spotted together on a long drive date on November 11, the day celebrated as Pepero Day in Korea.
The age difference between Soyoung (then 29) and Son (then 23), along with the fact that Son was involved in a dating rumor again after Minah, created quite a buzz back then. But the relationship was shortlived, with media outlets speculating that it was due to Son prioritizing his career at that time.