Martin Bengtsson attempted suicide as a young footballer. Now, his story is changing conversations around mental health in football

    Martin Bengtsson played for Sweden's U17 and U19 teams.

    (CNN)Most sports films end with some moment of triumph. "Chariots of Fire" with Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell overcoming prejudice and their underdog status to become Olympic champions; Rocky wins the adoration of the crowd and declares his love for his girlfriend; Billy Beane's Moneyball strategy is vindicated.

    "Tigers" ends triumphantly because Martin Bengtsson -- the protagonist whose real-life story the film is based on -- survives.
    When he was 17 years old and dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, Bengtsson was signed by Inter Milan after Chelsea and Ajax had also shown interest in him.
      He joined Inter's Primavera squad, lived with other academy prospects and was touted as the next Wayne Rooney or Zlatan Ibrahimović.
        But in Milan, his dream and career unraveled. After nine months in Italy, Bengtsson developed depression in the aftermath of an injury and attempted suicide by slitting his wrists in the shower.
        He was sent back to his native Sweden to recover, never returned and retired from football a year later at the age of 18.
        Bengtsson's memoir has now been adapted into an award-winning film.
        Encouraged by his therapist, Bengtsson began writing to process his experiences in Milan and to quash rumors that he left after becoming involved in drugs.
          "I was angry at what had happened and that can be a big, big drive in writing," he tells CNN Sport.
          "And while I was doing it, I also realized more and more that this is the story that's missing. No one had told it from the inside."
          When Bengtsson published his memoir "In the Shadow of San Siro" in 2007, it was one of the first accounts of its kind, even FIFPRO -- the worldwide players' union -- did not begin conducting studies into mental health until 2013.
          After Bengtsson published his book, he moved to Berlin where he met filmmaker and writer Ronnie Sandahl in 2011 and the two became good friends.
          "I knew Ronnie was a very, very good writer -- one of the greatest in his generation," Bengtsson says. "And so I knew that ... it would be a good movie ... I believed in him."
          Nine years later, Sandahl translated Bengtsson's story onto the screen as "Tigers," which will be released in UK cinemas on July 1.
          Sandahl's film has drawn critical acclaim and was submitted as Sweden's entry for the Best International Feature Film at the Oscars last year.
          The film's title references how caged animals are kept as tourist attractions, and cage-like motifs are scattered throughout the film.
          Erik Enge plays Bengtsson in the film "Tigers."
          Metal bars seem to follow Sandahl's representation of Bengtsson wherever he goes: on his dormitory window, in nightclubs and even the stadium itself becomes a cage of sorts.