Mali kick-off their African Nations Cup campaign against Kenya today, kick-off 2pm.
Fredi uses the example of Senegal who toppled World Champions France in the first game of the 2002 World Cup before marching through to the semi-finals.
"If someone sees a so-called smaller country in the World Cup it can change everything," said the striker.
"Five years ago, no-one had heard of Senegal and now everyone wants Senegalise players, even though they don't know how they play, they want them because the did well in the World Cup."
Mali face a stiff test to progress from Group B with tournament second favourites Senegal and Burkino Faso also in there.
"It is a tough group," added Fredi. "I don't give any predictions about what we can do but with the quality we have we can do something very good.
"It's important for us. If we can do well in this tournament we soon have the qualifying stages for World Cup and everything is possible."
Mbulelo Mabizela's South Africa also face a tough group up against highly-rated Nigeria, Morocco and Benin. He kicks-off against Benin on Tuesday.
Fredi and OJ's fixtures:
January 26 - Kenya v MALI
January 27 - SOUTH AFRICA v Benin
January 30 - Burkino Faso v MALI
January 31 - Nigeria v SOUTH AFRICA
February 2 - Senegal v MALI
February 4 - Morocco v SOUTH AFRICA
Fredi Kanoute believes a good performance from Mali in the African Nations Cup could put the country on football's world map.