In his first 12 months after trading Tottenham Hotspur for the Spanish capital, Bale could do little wrong and scored decisive goals in both the Copa Del Rey and Champions League finals.
However, the former Spurs favourite has endured a tough season this time around, often feeling the heat from the Spanish press for a number of supposed sub-par performances.
His situation is delicate, largely owing to Ronaldo’s personal ambitions of becoming the world’s best player, which has in turn caused unwanted pressure on his teammates to help satisfy the Portuguese superstar.
The former Manchester United star’s desires came to the forefront in midweek, as an Alvaro Arbeloa tap-in which could have been finished off by Ronaldo prompted the winger into an unsavoury reaction.
It was a defining moment, and one Keown feels highlights the difficulties Bale has suffered since moving to Madrid.
“It is out of order. It’s not about him, it’s about the team. But in a way because everything at Real has become about him the whole club has benefited,” Keown explained.
“He is a special talent who lifts that side but he has to be gracious and happy when his team-mates score. In a way his reaction helps outline how difficult things must have been for Gareth Bale.”
Bale has started 28 La Liga matches for Los Blancos this season, scoring 13 times and contributing with a further seven assists.
The 25-year-old still has a big part to play in the club’s season as Carlo Ancelotti’s men look to become the first team to retain the Champions League crown in its modern format.